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Facebook's Zuckerberg calls out Apple as 'one of its biggest competitors'

Javier E. David
·Editor focused on markets and the economy
·2 min read
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Facebook (FB) founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday upped the ante in an escalating battle against Apple (AAPL), calling out the iPhone giant as one of the site’s “biggest competitors” in his most frank acknowledgement yet that the two tech behemoths are locked in a battle with one another.

On a day when both tech giants reported earnings that blew the doors off Wall Street estimates, Zuckerberg used his company’s earnings call to issue a string of broadsides against Apple.

As a hardware maker, Apple is a critical link between platforms and users, facilitating the connections that social media sites like Facebook need to bolster engagement, and ad dollars. Yet Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook have traded barbs for several years, with both exchanging accusations about data privacy.

However, Facebook took the war of words to a new level on Wednesday, leveling accusations about Apple’s claims about its privacy and its market dominance — actions that Facebook itself has been sued over by regulators.

Apple CEO Tim Cook testifies before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on "Online Platforms and Market Power" in the Rayburn House office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on July 29, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Apple CEO Tim Cook testifies before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on "Online Platforms and Market Power" in the Rayburn House office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on July 29, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“We increasingly see Apple as one of our biggest competitors,” Zuckerberg said — adding that the Cupertino-based company prioritizes its own “competitive interests” over user privacy.

“Apple has every incentive to use its dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps work to favor their own, which they regularly do,” Zuckerberg added.

With tech giants coming under increasing scrutiny over how rigorously they safeguard user information, Zuckerberg criticized Apple and unscrupulous governments for being able to access people’s messages — something he claimed Facebook doesn’t do.

"Apple and governments have the ability to access people’s messages,” the CEO said. Meanwhile, “WhatsApp is clearly superior," he added, apparently comparing the messaging app to Apple’s FaceTime.

In fact, Zuckerberg’s remarks constituted an escalation between the two world-bestriding tech giants. Last month, Facebook revealed the company is working with Epic Games in its antitrust lawsuit against Apple. That suit alleges that the App Store is an illegal monopoly designed to benefit Apple, but is a detriment to app developers.

Javier David is an editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow Javier on Twitter: @TeflonGeek

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