Apple did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’ request for comment.

Gizmodo spoke with American Economic Liberties Project Senior Policy Analyst Krista Brown who said Apple’s massive spending increase was probably the result of numerous factors, but believed worries around The Open Markets Act almost certainly played a factor.


“It would be foolish not to notice that the Open App Markets bill, which is similar to legislation that they’ve been fighting aggressively in state legislatures, passed out of the Senate judiciary 20 to 2,” Brown said. “There is overwhelming support to break Apple’s app store monopoly and their increased spending would indicate that they are trying to stifle those efforts.”

Apple’s top dog hasn’t kept quiet about where he stands on antitrust either. Last week, in a speech given at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit, Apple CEO Tim Cook criticized legislation and gave the “if you regulate us we can’t secure your iPhone” argument. (Apple’s done this before)


“Here in Washington and elsewhere, policymakers are taking steps in the name of competition that would force Apple to let apps on the iPhone circumvent the App Store through a process called sideloading,” Cook said according to CNBC. “That means data-hungry companies would be able to avoid our privacy rules, and once again track our users against their will.”

Cook also spoke out against the prospect of sideloading apps, which he said “would also potentially give bad actors a way around the comprehensive security protections we put in place.”


Tim Apple, as the company’s chief executive is known by one Florida resident, isn’t alone. Mark Isakowitz, Google’s VP of Government Affairs and Public Policy lashed out at antitrust efforts earlier this year as well. “This bill could destroy many consumer benefits that current payment systems provide and distort competition by exempting gaming platforms, which amounts to Congress trying to artificially pick winners and losers in a highly competitive marketplace,” Isakowitz said according to CNBC.

Big Tech might not like these antitrust efforts, but the public does. Recent polling conducted by Morning Consult found that 67% of U.S. adults believe the benefits large tech companies provide don’t outweigh the dangers posed by their increased power. Around two in five adults said there should be more regulation of tech companies, up from around 3 in 10 who said so the previous year. 42% of all adults surveyed said they believed antitrust investigations into tech companies would be effective.


Studies show that corporate lobbying works, so it’s no surprise that Big Tech firms have doubled down as efforts to restrain their power gain steam,” Brown of the American Economic Liberties Project said. “But even a record-breaking spending blitz on fancy ads and a new team of lobbyists can’t hide the reality that Big Tech firms are a threat to our economy and democracy. Policymakers on both sides of the aisle and at every level of government are now wide awake to this reality, and we expect them to act forcefully.”

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