Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republicans this week said that Apple’s alleged threat to remove Twitter from its App Store warrants congressional investigation.
“That would be a huge, huge mistake, and it would be a really raw exercise of monopolistic power that I think would merit a response from the United States Congress,” DeSantis told an audience in Duval County, Florida, on Tuesday.
The “old regime” at Twitter attempted to “suffocate the dissent” in regards to COVID-19 reporting, DeSantis said, adding that Apple is acting as a “vassal of the CCP [Chinese Communist Party]” while using “corporate power in the United States … to suffocate Americans.”
The governor appeared to have been referring to reports that Apple blocked some features of its popular AirDrop service for only Chinese users prior to widespread protests against the regime’s “zero COVID” policies.
Top story: @FLVoiceNews: 'WATCH: Ron DeSantis says Apple removing @elonmusk's Twitter from app store warrants Congressional response
"That would be a huge, huge mistake, and it would be a really raw exercise of monopol… pic.twitter.com/vmJ2ACglGb, see more https://t.co/whhQ7jVrUh
— NewsNosh (@NewsNosh) November 29, 2022
The Florida governor was referring to a claim from new Twitter owner Elon Musk’s posts on Monday that Apple, considered the world’s most valuable company, threatened to remove the Twitter app from its App Store. Apple has not yet issued a public comment on the matter, and The Epoch Times has contacted the firm for comment.
“Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?” Musk asked on Twitter.
“Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store,” he posted, “but won’t tell us why.” The tech billionaire also directly asked CEO Tim Cook: “What’s going on?”
Outside of DeSantis, other Republicans said that Apple and Google have too much control over the internet via their respective app-downloading stores. Removing Twitter from both would mean that the social media app would be heavily limited in its growth and usage.
Parler, a social media platform favored by conservatives, was removed from the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Web Services days after the Jan. 6 Capitol incident. For more than a month, the website was not accessible, and data shows that its usage significantly dropped during that time period and has never recovered.
“This is why we need to end the App Store duopoly before the end of this year. No one should have this kind of market power,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo) wrote.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who co-sponsored a Senate measure targeting app stores, added that “Apple and Google currently have a stranglehold on companies and have used their leverage to bully businesses.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at a gaming convention in Los Angeles, Calif., on June 13, 2019. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
In the first quarter of 2022, Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter, spending $48 million and accounting for more than 4 percent of total revenue for the period, the Washington Post reported, citing an internal Twitter document.
Cook, Apple’s CEO, has not yet weighed in on Musk’s comments. When asked about possibly removing Twitter from the App Store in an interview on Nov. 15, he replied: “They say that they are going to continue to moderate and so … I count on them to do that.”
Tue, 11/29/2022 - 21:25