Elon Musk vs. Tim Cook: What the Two Have Said About One Another

Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Monday took a swipe at Apple boss Tim Cook about advertising on the social media platform.

Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion last month, said Apple has halted most of its advertising on the social media site. He also accused the company of threatening to remove Twitter from its app store.

“Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America? What’s going on here @tim_cook?” Musk tweeted on Monday, adding in a separate tweet: “Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.”

If Musk’s accusations are true, it would be a significant blow to the social media site, as people would no longer be able to download the Twitter app on iPhones. Apple is Twitter’s top advertiser, spending $48 million on ads on the social media platform in the first quarter of 2022, The Washington Post reported.

Comp Photo, Elon Musk and Tim Cook
Above, Elon Musk (L) walks on stage during a T-Mobile and SpaceX joint event on August 25, 2022, in Boca Chica Beach, Texas. Apple CEO Tim Cook (R) visits the Fifth Avenue Apple Store on September 16, 2022, in New York City. Musk has accused Apple of threatening to remove Twitter from its app store with no evidence.

Most of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising, but Musk has said that he does not want the social media site to be reliant on that. He introduced an $8 per month paid subscription service to the network to bring in revenue.

Many of Twitter’s advertising partners, including Chipotle, Pfizer, and Volkswagen, have temporarily halted spending amid concerns about the changes Musk is making to the site.

Musk also tweeted on Monday about Apple’s “secret 30% tax on everything you buy through their App Store.” Meta has complained about this tax, as well.

Cook has not publicly commented on Musk’s accusations, but the two have spoken about each other in the past.

In late 2020, Musk claimed he offered to sell his car company, Tesla, to Apple.

“During the darkest days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting,” Musk said that December.

Cook denied this, saying he had never spoken with Musk.

In an interview last April on the Sway podcast, Cook said he had “great admiration” for Tesla.

“You know, I’ve never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he’s built,” Cook said. “I think Tesla has done an unbelievable job of not only establishing the lead but keeping the lead for such a long period of time in the EV space.”

Apple itself is rumored to be building an autonomous electric car by 2024, a product that will go head-to-head with Tesla.

A book by Los Angeles Times reporter Tim Higgins called Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century released in February 2021 claimed that Cook said “F**** you” to Musk after the Tesla chief said he wanted to be CEO of Apple in return to selling his car firm to the technology company.

However, both Cook and Musk have denied the heated conversation ever took place.

Newsweek reached out to Apple for comment.

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