Klobuchar and Lee say Apple agrees to testify in antitrust hearing

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Apple has agreed to testify before a Senate panel on antitrust, said Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, and Mike Lee, Utah Republican, on Monday.

Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Lee, the chair and top-ranking Republican on the Senate’s antitrust panel, wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday to urge him to reconsider his company’s decision not to participate in an antitrust hearing scheduled for next week. The senators said on Monday that Apple reversed its decision.

“I am glad that Apple has changed course and agreed to testify before the subcommittee,” Mr. Lee said in a statement. “Utahns are eager to learn what we can do to better protect and promote competition in the digital ecosystem, and it’s essential that Apple and others make good faith contributions to that effort.”

Next week’s antitrust hearing is focused on digital app stores operated by Apple and Google. Apple previously cited ongoing litigation for its reluctance to testify, according to the senators’ letter to Mr. Cook.

Apple’s willingness to testify will likely not ease the tension between the company and lawmakers looking to crack down on tech.

“These companies have the power to control how and if mobile app developers can reach app users, and ultimately, which apps become successful,” Ms. Klobuchar said in a statement. “This hearing will explore whether Apple and Google are using their power as gatekeepers to charge high fees and impose restrictions that suppress competition in mobile applications and related markets, and both companies’ participation in the hearing is necessary.”

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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