Apple is sending an exec to an antitrust hearing, following an awkward exchange of letters in which 2 senators accused it of refusing to attend


After an awkward exchange of letters between Apple and two Senators, the tech giant said Sunday that it would send an exec to an antitrust hearing scheduled for later this month.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook Friday, after the company reportedly refused to make anyone available for a hearing on competition in mobile-app stores.

"A little more than two weeks before the planned hearing, Apple abruptly declared that it would not provide any witness," the senators wrote. "Apple's sudden change in course to refuse to provide a witness to testify ... is unacceptable."

Apple said in a letter Sunday there had been a mistake, and that it had only been trying to ask for different dates.

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"We have deep respect for your role and process on these matters and, as we told your staff, we are willing to participate in a hearing in the subcommittee ... We simply sought alternative dates in light of upcoming matters that have been scheduled for some time and that touch on similar issues," Apple said in its letter, first reported by Bloomberg.

Apple would send Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer to testify at the hearing, it said. The hearing is scheduled for April 21.

Sen. Mike Lee didn't appear to accept Apple's explanation that there had been a misunderstanding: In a statement to The Verge he said he was glad Apple had "changed course and agreed to testify before the committee."

Apple is currently facing intense antitrust scrutiny from lawmakers both in the US and overseas.

It's also fighting a high-profile legal battle against video-game maker Epic Games, which claims Apple abuses its App Store to unfairly disadvantage developers.

The Information reported in January Facebook was preparing an antitrust case against the iPhone maker.