Comedian Jon Stewart says Apple asked him not to interview FTC Chair Lina Khan


Guest Jon Stewart on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on June 17, 2019.

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Comedian Jon Stewart said Apple asked him not to interview Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan on a podcast while he was hosting his Apple TV+ show “The Problem With Jon Stewart.”

His TV show ran for two seasons before ending abruptly in October.

“I gotta tell you, I wanted to have you on a podcast, and Apple asked us not to do it, to have you,” Stewart told Khan during an episode of “The Daily Show” on Monday. “They literally said, ‘Please don’t talk to her.'”

Stewart asked Khan why the company might be “afraid” to have certain conversations out in public. Khan said it “shows one of the dangers of what happens when you concentrate so much power and so much decision-making in a small number of companies.”

Stewart’s comments came nearly two weeks after the Department of Justice sued Apple in a landmark antitrust case. The DOJ alleges that Apple’s iPhone ecosystem is a monopoly and that its anticompetitive practices extend to its Apple Watch, advertising, browser, FaceTime and news businesses.

The FTC under Khan has taken similar action against other major tech companies. The DOJ’s antitrust division and the FTC have pursued cases against Google parent Alphabet. The FTC has sued Amazon and Meta.

In February Stewart returned to his old role as host of “The Daily Show,” but only on Mondays.

The comedian reportedly disagreed with Apple executives over his approach to guests and topics on his show, including subjects such as artificial intelligence and China, according to The New York Times.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.