Apple and Google snub Congress

Posted by STARR KESHET

US Senator John Rockefeller has criticized Apple and Google for refusing to participate in a recent Congressional hearing about online privacy.

"When people don't show up when we ask them to... all it does is increases our interest in what they're doing and why they didn't show up," Rockefeller told Politico.

Apple and Google snub Congress"It was a stupid mistake for them not to show up, and I say shame on them."

Senator Mark Pryor, who presided over the privacy hearing, said the snub by the two industry heavyweights was quite "unfortunate."

"They are a major player in this area, and we are going to continue to have a long, in-depth conversation."

Meanwhile, Rebecca Arbogast, managing director of analyst firm Stifel Nicolaus, told Politco that Apple's days of ignoring (optional) requests by federal lawmakers was likely drawing to a quick close.

"As Apple continues getting success in new areas, the more they'll be a lightning rod for attention," said Arbogast. 

"So far, these are all issues Apple's been able to ignore."

Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology, concurred.

"They've been very focused on their own innovation, and they don't have a history of coming to town to get their competitors regulated.

"But they're expanding into so many areas that they're going to find themselves in other companies' cross hairs, so they probably should be ready to play defense."