Pressure is mounting on Apple CEO Tim Cook to testify to Congress on antitrust concerns as other tech giants indicate they will send their chief execs to give evidence.

Amazon, Facebook and Google are all reported to be willing to have their CEOs face questions about whether their companies are engaging in anti-competitive behaviors …

The Washington Post says the three companies have ‘signalled’ their plans, while Apple has not.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai signaled they are open to testifying to Congress as part of lawmakers’ ongoing antitrust probe into the tech industry, while Apple has not yet explicitly agreed to send its leader.

The companies’ commitments came in letters sent this weekend to the House Judiciary Committee, which has been investigating big tech since last year, according to two people familiar with the matter […]

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos also has signaled he will participate in the hearing, after the e-commerce giant initially resisted lawmakers’ demands […]

Apple, meanwhile, told the committee that it would send a senior executive yet did not clearly commit its leader.

The bipartisan Congressional probe is aiming to find out whether tech giants capitalize on their size to give themselves an unfair advantage over smaller companies, and whether they act in ways which are contrary to the best interests of consumers. In Apple’s case, most of the concerns center on the cut the company takes from App Store sales and in-app payments and subscriptions.

We’ve noted before that this is just one of a slew of antitrust investigations into Apple.

Apple is facing antitrust investigations on a number of fronts. In addition to the Congressional hearings, the Department of Justice has its own investigation; the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the legality of a deal between Apple and Amazon; a number of US states are carrying out wide-ranging antitrust inquiries of their own; there are a number of cases in other countries; and a slew of lawsuits.

The latest of these was announced just yesterday.

Apple is now formally facing investigations on its conduct regarding the App Store and Apple Pay. European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager today said that the probes are a priority and revolve around Apple’s role as gatekeeper.

The Apple Pay investigation will look into whether Apple unfairly locked out competing contactless payment services by restricting the use of the NFC chip inside iPhones. The App Store investigation centers on the mandatory use of Apple In-App Purchase system for third-party apps, and the 30% revenue cut that implies.

As Daring Fireball suggests, agreement from the other companies makes it seen unavoidable for Tim Cook to testify in person at the hearings.

“I’ll go if you go” sounds a lot like the social dance of teenagers, but, well, some social interactions scale all the way up to the CEOs of the biggest companies in the world. If Bezos, Pichai, and Zuckerberg all testify, trust me, Cook will be there.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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