Jul 29, 2020
Tim Cook Opening Statement Transcript Antitrust Hearing July 29
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s opening statement at the Congressional Antitrust Hearing on July 29. Read the transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Mr. Cook is now recognized for five minutes.
Tim Cook: (00:04)
Chairman [Sissileanea 00:00:05] and Nadler, ranking members [Sinson 00:00:07], Brenner, and Jordan. Members of the subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to offer testimony.
Tim Cook: (00:14)
Before I begin, I want to recognize the life and legacy of John Lewis. I join you in mourning not only a hero, but someone I knew personally, whose example inspires and guides me still. Every American owes John Lewis a debt, and I feel fortunate to hail from a state and a country that benefited so profoundly from his leadership.
Tim Cook: (00:39)
My name is Tim Cook. I’ve been Apple CEO since 2011, and a proud employee of this uniquely American company since 1998. At Apple, we make ourselves a promise and our customers a promise. It’s a promise that we’ll only build things that make us proud. As Steve put it, we only make things that we’d recommend to our family and friends. You can try to define this difference in a lot of ways. You can call it the seamless integration of hardware and software. You can call it simplicity of design, or a great ecosystem. All of those things are true, but if you want to put it simply, products like iPhone, just work. When customers consistently give iPhone a 99% satisfaction rating, that’s the message they’re sending about the user experience.
Tim Cook: (01:34)
But we also know that customers have a lot of choices, and that our products face fierce competition. Companies like Samsung, LG, Huawei, and Google have built successful businesses with different approaches. We’re okay with that. Our goal is the best, not the most. In fact, we don’t have a dominant share in any market or in any product category where we do business. What does motivate us is that timeless drive to build new things that we’re proud to show our users. We focus relentlessly on those innovations, on deepening core principles like privacy and security, and on creating new features.
Tim Cook: (02:16)
In 2008, we introduced a new feature of the iPhone called the App Store. Launched with 500 apps, which seemed like a lot at the time, the App Store provided a safe and trusted way for users to get more out of their phone. We knew the distribution options for software developers at the time didn’t work well. Brick and mortar stores charged high fees and have limited reach. Physical media like CDs had to be shipped and were hard to update. From the beginning, the App Store was a revolutionary alternative. App Store developers set prices for their apps and never pay for shelf space. We provide every developer with cutting edge tools like programming languages, and more than 150,000 essential software building blocks called APIs.
Tim Cook: (03:08)
The App Store guidelines ensure a high quality, reliable, and secure user experience. They are transparent and applied equally to every developer. For the vast majority of apps, developers keep a 100% of the money they make. The only apps that are subject to a commission are those where the developer acquires a customer on an Apple device and where the features or services would be experienced and consumed on an Apple device. In the app stores more than 10 year history, we have never raised the commission or added a single fee. In fact, we’ve reduced it for subscriptions and exempted additional categories of apps.
Tim Cook: (03:50)
I’m here today because scrutiny is reasonable and appropriate. We approach this process with respect and humility, but we make no concession on the facts. What began as 500 apps is now more than 1.7 million, only 60 of which are Apple software. If Apple is a gatekeeper, what we’ve done is opened the gate wider. We want to get every app we can on the store, not keep them off. The App Store’s economic contributions are significant. The ecosystem is responsible for 1.9 million jobs in all 50 states, and it facilitated 138 billion in commerce in the US in 2019 alone.
Tim Cook: (04:33)
I share the committee’s belief that competition promotes innovation, that it makes space for the next great idea, and that it gives consumers more choices. Since Apple was founded, these things have defined us. The first Mac brought opportunity and possibility into the home. The iPod helped musicians and artists to share their creations and be paid fairly for it. This legacy does much more than make us proud. It inspires us to work tirelessly to make sure tomorrow will be even better than today.
Tim Cook: (05:06)
Thank you very much. I look forward to responding to your questions.