Sen. Ossoff Ripped Apple Despite Investing Millions, Report Says Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill on April 20, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Evelyn Hockstein-Pool/Getty Images)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 20 May 2021 10:25 AM
Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., publicly accused Apple of profiting off of "abusive" billing practices during a heated back-and-forth at a recent hearing — but Ossoff reportedly has invested millions of dollars in the tech giant.
Citing Ossoff's financial disclosure forms filed this week, The Washington Free Beacon reported his investments in Apple last year were worth between $1 million and $5 million, and the outlet noted he had not yet divested his shares.
Yet during an April Senate hearing, Ossoff questioned Kyle Andeer, Apple's chief compliance officer, on reports that the company had failed to regulate fraudulent iPhone applications in its app store, according to the Free Beacon. Consumer watchdogs have claimed phony app developers cheat customers out of millions through subscription fees.
"Apple is making a cut on those abusive billing practices, are you not?" Ossoff asked Andeer.
Andeer insisted that the company had invested tens of millions of dollars in getting rid of fraudulent apps and said Apple refunds customers who submit complaints about such app activity.
"Unfortunately, security and fraud is a cat-and-mouse game," Andeer said, according to TechCrunch. "Any retailer will tell you that. And so we're constantly working to improve."
He disclosed Apple was investing in more resources and technologies to catch scammers and noted that the app store rejects thousands of apps every year for posing a potential risk to consumers, TechCrunch reported.
The Washington Post noted in a story late last year that Republicans have derided Ossoff as a "trust fund socialist." In the past, he has declined to say how much money he inherited from his grandfather, who was co-owner of a Massachusetts leather factory.
"I openly acknowledge that the opportunity I've had is a function of my parents' hard work … the opportunity to get a great education without debt, the opportunity to do what I love and pursue my passion, which is confronting and exposing injustice and the abuse of power," he said.
Meanwhile, the Free Beacon reported that Ossoff did not mention his investment in Apple during the antitrust hearing. The outlet said disclosure documents showed his shares to be worth between $500,000 and $1 million in 2019. But the tech company's stock price has surged in recent years, from $37 per share at the beginning of 2019 to $124 on Wednesday.
Ossoff's office did not respond to a request for comment from the Free Beacon about his Apple investment.