Tim Cook Says Apple 'Should be Scrutinized' But Disputes Claims Company is a Monopoly

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Apple CEO Tim Cook believes that when it comes to big business, scrutiny is a good thing, but he has denied claims that Apple is a monopoly.


In an extended interview with CBS News, Cook said that because of Apple’s size he thought it was “fair” to scrutinize its business practices, but the CEO pushed back hard against claims that the company had a dominant position in any market.

Apple has recently become the target of regulator inquiries and class action lawsuits that have variously questioned its business practices. In the United States, for example, the Supreme Court recently ruled that a class action accusing Apple of operating an App Store monopoly can proceed to trial in a lower court.

Asked about Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign and her position that Apple should break up its App Store and other parts of its business, Cook said:

I strongly disagree with that. I think some people would argue, if you are selling a good, then you can’t have a product that competes with that good. And I– I think that’s part of what is being argued there. But that– that’s an argument that takes you down the path that, Walmart shouldn’t be stocking alternative or house brand. And so this is decades of– of– U.S. law here. But I think scrutiny is good, and we’ll tell our story to anybody that we need to or that– that wants to hear it. I– I feel very confident in– in our position.

Cook went on to underline the company’s user-centric position and claimed that when it comes to privacy and fake news, “we’re on the user’s side,” which is why it curates content on its stores and services.

Asked whether he thought Facebook is an amplifier for fake news, Cook said that he worried about any platform that delivered news in a feed and relied on algorithms to differentiate genuine journalism from fake news.

I don’t really believe personally that A.I. has the power today to differentiate between what is fake and what is not. And so I worry about any property that today pushes news in a feed. What we do with Apple News product is we pick top stories, we have people doing it. And so I do worry about people thinking like machines. Not machines thinking like people.

Cook’s extended interview covered several other topics, including the potential impact of Chinese tariffs on Apple, his relationship with President Trump, and current U.S. administration polices. You can watch the full interview above and read the full transcript here.

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