Report: Tim Cook called Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to warn against antitrust legislation [U]

Update June 24, 2021: Nancy Pelosi has now confirmed that she spoke with Apple CEO Tim Cook on the phone, but did not share many details. According to Politico’s Leah Nylen, Pelosi told Cook: “If you have a substantive concern, put it forth as Congress works its well.”

A new report from The New York Times today details that Apple CEO Tim Cook has personally reached out to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to voice concern about looming antitrust legislation. According to the report, Cook personally called Speaker Pelosi in the days after antitrust legislation targeting big tech was introduced earlier this month.

Speaking to Pelosi, Cook voiced concerns that the antitrust bills were “rushed” and would “crimp innovation,” according to the report.

The antitrust bills were rushed, he said. They would crimp innovation. And they would hurt consumers by disrupting the services that power Apple’s lucrative iPhone, Mr. Cook cautioned at various points, according to five people with knowledge of the conversations.

Pelosi reportedly pushed back against Cook’s concerns about the legislation, including rejecting his request that the House Judiciary Committee delay the process of considering the bills. She also pressed Cook to “identify specific policy objections to the measures.”

In addition to his phone calls with Speaker Pelosi, Cook is also said to have spoken with “other members of Congress to delivery a warning” on the effects of such harsh antitrust legislation. Details about who he spoke to, however, are unclear.

Apple is also working with lobbying groups to oppose the looming antitrust legislation:

Morgan Reed, the president of the App Association, a trade organization sponsored by Apple and other tech and telecom companies, said in a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday that breaking up platforms and “limiting the services they can provide for our member companies would harm your constituents.”

Lawmakers introduced five bills targeting Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google last week. Among other things, the legislation would significantly affect the App Store and impact Apple’s ability to pre-install applications on iPhones. The goal, according to Democratic Representative David Cicilline, would be to ensure that companies like Apple are “not using their market dominance to favor their own products and services.”

You can read the full report at The New York Times website.

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