Apple told Congress it has spent 'billions of dollars' on Apple Maps
- Apple has invested "billions of dollars" in Apple Maps since the app was introduced in 2012, the tech giant disclosed this week.
- Apple Maps has been the target of harsh criticism from users since its release, but Apple has continued to add features that make it a stronger competitor to Google Maps.
- The company made the disclosure in response to questions from the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating Apple for possible anticompetitive practices.
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Since Apple created its own mapping app in 2012, it has been playing catch-up to Google Maps, which had a seven-year head start.
Apple has invested heavily in that competition, spending "billions of dollars" on Apple Maps since 2012, the company disclosed this week.
The disclosure came in response to a House Judiciary Committee probe into whether Apple has engaged in anticompetitive practices that favor its own apps over third-party apps on the App Store. Lawmakers sent Apple questions in September, and Apple's vice president of corporate law, Kyle Andeer, responded this week.
Apple is notoriously secretive about how it spends money. When asked how much Apple has invested in Apple Maps, Andeer declined to provide a specific figure, but said the number is in the billions.
"Apple has invested billions of dollars in Apple Maps," Andeer wrote.
Andeer also declined to answer lawmakers' questions about what percentage of iOS users have downloaded Google Maps, or how Apple Maps usage compares to Google Maps usage, stating that Apple "does not have usage data for any third-party apps."
However, Andeer said Google Maps and Waze, which is owned by Google, have been downloaded by iOS users "hundreds of millions of times over the last five years."
An Apple spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
You can read Apple's full response to lawmakers' questions here.