After Apple “abruptly” pulled out of an April hearing on the App Store and Google’s Play Store, leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee are now urging the iPhone maker to come back to the table and offer up a witness for the hearing — reports The Verge.
In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee state the following:
Apple has been aware for weeks that the Subcommittee was planning a hearing on this topic and was engaged in discussions with our staff regarding who would testify on Apple’s behalf. Yet a little more than two weeks [16 days] before the planned hearing, Apple abruptly declared that it would not provide any witness to testify at a hearing in April.
Apple’s sudden change in course to refuse to provide a witness to testify before the Subcommittee on app store competition issues in April, when the company is clearly willing to discuss them in other public forums, is unacceptable. We strongly urge Apple to reconsider its position and to provide a witness to testify before the Subcommittee in a timely manner.
Apple has been in hot water with lawmakers for its App Store practices, which have been labeled as antitrust and anti-competition, over the course of the last year.
The tech giant has received vehement criticism for its 30% fees on all transactions going through the App Store from both government authorities and app developers.
In fact, Fortnite developer Epic Games will be taking Apple to court for its App Store practices and anti-competitive behavior towards the tech space in a trial scheduled for May 3.
Whether or not Apple yields to the Senate Subcommittee’s demands remains to be seen, and Apple is yet to comment on the still-developing situation.