Comedian Jon Stewart has revealed that Apple once blocked his plans to interview Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan when he was still hosting a show for the tech giant’s streaming service.

The comedian detailed the incident during a Monday interview on the “The Daily Show” with Khan – a noted antitrust crusader who took over the FTC in 2021 and is seen as a major antagonist for tech firms.

“I wanted to have you on a podcast and Apple asked us not to do it,” Stewart said. “They literally said ‘please don’t talk to her,’ having nothing to do with what you do for a living. I think they just…I didn’t think they cared for you, is what happened.”

Jon Stewart interviewed Lina Khan on “The Daily Show.” The Daily Show

Stewart continued, asserting that Apple also would have tried to block an earlier segment on the show about artificial intelligence.

“Like, what is that sensitivity? Why are they so afraid to even have these conversations out in the public sphere?” Stewart said.

“I think it just 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,” Khan replied.

Apple canceled Jon Stewart’s show last fall. The Daily Show

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.

Khan’s appearance took place days after the Justice Department slapped Apple with a major antitrust lawsuit accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics to ensure the iPhone’s dominance.

While the legal battle will take years, it has the potential to upend Apple’s business model.

Notably, the DOJ’s lawsuit makes direct mention of Apple’s entry into the streaming wars as a point of concern.  

“Apple’s conduct extends beyond just monopoly profits and even affects the flow of speech,” the lawsuit said. “For example, Apple is rapidly expanding its role as a TV and movie producer and had exercised that role to control content.”

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

Lina Khan has led a major antitrust push since taking over the FTC. The Daily Show

The high-profile partnership was nixed last fall amid apparent creative differences, with Stewart quipping that Apple “didn’t want me to say things that might get me in trouble.”

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

So far, the agency has focused on other Big Tech rivals, namely Facebook parent Meta and Amazon.

However, when Apple shut down the Beeper Mini messaging app late last year, the agency published a blog warning it “will closely scrutinize any claims that competition must be impeded to advance privacy or security.”

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