Apple is still part of an ongoing antitrust probe in the United States, and, earlier this week, the company’s CEO testified in front of the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee. A portion of that investigation touched on Apple’s acquisition of other companies.
Now, in a new interview with CNBC, the chief executive Tim Cook has decided to shed some light on the company’s decisions to acquire any company, and basically says that Apple doesn’t aim to reduce its competition or buy up competitors for the sake of it, but rather it’s aiming to acquire the innovation put on display by the company being acquired.
Cook says that Apple’s acquisitions are a means to overcome certain obstacles or challenges, and after a company is acquired the company puts that new IP into the phone (the iPhone):
If you look at the things behind the investigation, the things are acquisitions, and if you noticed, we didn’t get any questions on acquisitions because our approach on acquisitions has been to buy companies where we have challenges, and IP, and then make them a feature of the phone,” Cook said in the interview.
The reason this is a talking point at all is because this specific thing is what Facebook is being accused of doing — buying competing services. That’s what many argue Facebook did when it acquired Instagram, for instance. However, Cook’s argument here is that this is not the case for Apple, and that the company shouldn’t be lumped up into the same group as Facebook.
Cook’s primary example is Touch ID:
An example of that was Touch ID. We bought a company that accelerated a Touch ID at a point.
Of course, as noted in the original report, there are plenty of other examples of Cook’s outlook on Apple’s acquisitions. Back in 2018, for instance, Apple acquired Texture, a digital magazine subscription service that would ultimately become the groundwork for Apple’s News+ service. There are plenty of others, too. Like Apple’s acquisition of Beats, which is the largest for the company to date.
And Apple acquires a lot of companies. Back in May of last year, for instance, it was reported that the company had acquired more than two dozen startups in just six months. And Cook himself has said that Apple acquires a new company every few weeks.
What do you think of Cook’s position on this? Let us know in the comments.