Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blasted Apple in statements to the press after Twitter owner Elon Musk claimed that the company threatened to pull the social network from its app store, according to The New York Post.
On Monday, Musk sent out a series of tweets claiming that Apple threatened to pull Twitter from the app store and that the app store takes a 30 percent cut of profits (standard for companies that make over $1 million).
Musk’s tweets accused the company of suppressing free speech and directly called out Apple CEO Tim Cook.
"What's going on here?" Musk wrote.
Officials at Apple have yet to respond to the tweets or confirm if such a threat has been made.
“Picking on Elon”
Apple became one of the hundreds of companies that began to pull their ads from Twitter after Musk announced his plan to restore thousands of banned accounts. DeSantis said these accounts were “unfairly and illegally suspended for putting out accurate information about Covid.”
DeSantis stated that Apple’s response to this measure should invite government scrutiny.
“If Apple responds to that by nuking them from the App Store, I think 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 the press.
On Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the administration is “keeping an eye” on the Twitter situation. Infuriated, McCarthy joined the chorus of Republicans rallying to support Musk yesterday when he told reporters he was offended by the White House's statement.
“Government’s gonna go after someone who wants to have free speech? What do they have to look at Twitter about? Do they want to go more after the American public about whether they can have an opinion on something?” McCarthy asked reporters outside of the White House.
“I think the American public has spoken on this. I think our First Amendment stands up, and I think they should stop picking on Elon Musk,” McCarthy continued.
Republicans Rally Support
But DeSantis and McCarthy aren’t the only republicans who have taken a public platform on this.
Ohio Senator-elect J.D. Vance took to Twitter to say, “this would be the most raw exercise of monopoly power in a century, and no civilized country should allow it.”
Representative Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) have also formally called on congress to take action to limit Apple’s influence over the market. They both serve on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees’ antitrust panels. Apple has faced antitrust allegations more than once over its App Store policies.