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Jon Stewart says Apple asked him not to interview FTC’s Lina Khan amid antitrust scrutiny

Comedian Jon Stewart has revealed that Apple once blocked a planned interview with Federal Trade Commission Chairman Lina Khan, when she was still hosting a show on the tech giant’s streaming service.

The comedian said Monday’s interview on “The Daily Show” with Khan, a prominent antitrust advocate who took control of the FTC in 2021 and is seen as a major opponent of tech companies. , talked about this incident in detail.

“I wanted to have you on the podcast, but Apple asked us not to do it,” Stewart said. “They literally had nothing to do with what you do for a living and said, ‘Don’t talk to her.’ They just… they didn’t care about you. Well, that’s what happened.”

Jon Stewart interviews Lina Khan on “The Daily Show.” daily show

Stewart went on to claim that Apple also would have tried to block the show’s early segments on artificial intelligence.

“What is that sensitivity? Why are they so afraid to even have these conversations in public?” Stewart said.

“I think this illustrates one of the dangers of what happens when you concentrate so much power and decision-making in a small number of companies,” Khan responded.

Apple canceled the Jon Stewart show last fall. daily show

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Khan’s appearance in court comes days after the Justice Department filed a massive antitrust lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics to secure its iPhone dominance.

The legal battle will take years, but could completely change Apple’s business model.

Notably, the Justice Department’s lawsuit directly mentions Apple’s entry into the streaming wars as a concern.

“Apple’s actions go beyond mere monopolistic profits and influence the flow of speech,” the complaint said. “Apple, for example, was rapidly expanding its role as a producer of television and film, and was exercising that role to control content.”

The 61-year-old comedian hosted “The Problem with Jon Stewart” for two seasons on the Apple TV+ streaming service.

Since taking over the FTC, Lina Khan has led a major antitrust push. daily show

The high-profile partnership ended last fall over apparent creative differences, with Stewart quipping that Apple “didn’t want me to say anything that could get me in trouble.”

Khan has not brought any direct legal action against Apple at the FTC.

So far, the agency has focused on other big tech rivals: Facebook’s parent company Meta and Amazon.

However, when Apple shut down its messaging app Beeper Mini late last year, the agency published a blog warning that it would “severely scrutinize claims that competition must be impeded in order to improve privacy and security.”

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