U.S.: Big Tech are Abusive Monopolies That Should be Regulated or Broken Up

Posted on October 6, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon, Apple, Cloud, Google, Social with 87 Comments

A damning House Judiciary Committee report says that Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are monopolies and might need to be broken up.

“To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the 449-page report explains. “Although these firms have delivered clear benefits to society, the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google has come at a price. These firms typically run the marketplace while also competing in it—a position that enables them to write one set of rules for others, while they play by another, or to engage in a form of their own private quasiregulation that is unaccountable to anyone but themselves.”

What the committee recommends is that these companies—which together represent over one-third the entire value of the S&P 100—be regulated to prevent further abuses and, in some cases, be broken up into non-dominant, smaller companies.

“These firms have too much power, and that power must be reined in and subject to appropriate oversight and enforcement,” the report continues. “Our economy and democracy are at stake.”

“The market power of the dominant platforms risks undermining both political and economic liberties,” a section of the report dedicated to market impact adds. “Subcommittee staff encountered a prevalence of fear among market participants that depend on the dominant platforms, many of whom expressed unease that the success of their business and their economic livelihood depend on what they viewed as the platforms unaccountable and arbitrary power. Additionally, courts and enforcers have found the dominant platforms to engage in recidivism, repeatedly violating laws and court orders. This pattern of behavior raises questions about whether these firms view themselves as above the law, or whether they simply treat lawbreaking as a cost of business. Lastly, the growth in the platforms market power has coincided with an increase in their influence over the policymaking process. Through a combination of direct lobbying and funding think tanks and academics, the dominant platforms have expanded their sphere of influence, further shaping how they are governed and regulated.”

As for its recommendations, the committee is providing what it calls “a menu of reforms” that it says will restore competition, strengthen U.S. antitrust laws, and revive antitrust enforcement. And they do include “structural separations”—breakups of the abusive Big Tech firms—and major changes to these firms’ business practices.

I’m going to review this massive document further and see whether it addresses each firm’s abuses directly. But this is clearly the most important antitrust-related action to come out of the United States government since the Microsoft case in the late 1990s. And it’s scope is dramatically wider.

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Comments (104)

104 responses to “U.S.: Big Tech are Abusive Monopolies That Should be Regulated or Broken Up”

  1. SRLRacing

    Say what you will about individual policy makers but the US government is made up of a whole bunch of very smart people. Just these highlighted sections alone succinctly define what most of us have struggled to articulate. I cannot wait to see what comes from this committee report.

  2. navarac

    I believe the US, it's "dream" and culture just has itself to blame. How successful do you allow any Company to become? That's the problem.

    • karlinhigh

      In reply to navarac: How successful do you allow any Company to become?


      The working answer seems to be, "Until it grows too big for the government to bring to heel."


      There's SUPPOSED to be something about consumer welfare in there, but that gets more murky for cases like Google where it got big by being the thing everyone wanted to use.

  3. pherbie

    first line has a typo. "Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Apple". i suspect Alphabet.

  4. wright_is

    Tammany Hall has moved to Silicon Valley?

  5. RobertJasiek

    Typo "Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Apple" -> "Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google".

  6. txag

    In reply to lvthunder:

    There should be a minority report as well. If so, it probably has some different conclusions.

    • Paul Thurrott

      There is, as someone else pointed out, but the differences aren't as stark as you'd want.
    • beckoningeagle

      In reply to txag:

      There is one, the article I read said that conservatives pretty much disagree on breaking up companies, but agree that tech companies must be held accountable. I can't find the link to the article I read, but here is the link to the Minority report. It is about censorship, and the primary reason they wrote it is because House Democrats do not think this is a big issue (which of course is understandable, when you are not the one being censored). I started reading it, but between the 4xx page one and the 20+ pages of the other it's is going to take some time. Keep in mind that the investigation was a bipartisan one, so the conservative's document will feel like "DLC".


      https://republicans-judiciary.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2020-10-06-Reining-in-Big-Techs-Censorship-of-Conservatives.pdf


      EDIT:


      I just finished reading it and I can't understand why the article I found ties this document to the Democrat's one. It seems like 2 different investigations to me. I'll leave the link anyway.

      • Paul Thurrott

        I can help you understand. The document I posted is THE document. That other document is a dissenting opinion, not the majority opinion.
        • beckoningeagle

          In reply to paul-thurrott:

          So "majority" here refers to the composition of the comitee, which is bipartisan and not the majority of the House, which is Democrat. Did I get that right?

          • karlinhigh

            In reply to BeckoningEagle:

            The Wikipedia article may be instructive:


            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majority_opinion


            As far as I understand this, after the hearings and proceedings are done, someone's staff writes an "opinion." If over half the rest of the group signs on to it, it's the "majority opinion."


            There can also be "dissenting opinions," saying "we disagree, and see things this other way instead."


            Another option is "concurring opinions," saying "we agree with the conclusion, but for different reasons than the majority."

          • wright_is

            In reply to BeckoningEagle:

            I would assume the majority vote on the findings?

            You can be Democrat and against the motion or Republican and be for the motion. I don't get why Americans automatically assume a vote for or against something has to go 100% along party lines.

            I guess living in a country with no clear majority and 3 party coallition required to get a majority government means we are used to actually counting the votes and who voted for what.

            • karlinhigh

              In reply to wright_is: I don't get why Americans automatically assume a vote for or against something has to go 100% along party lines.


              In less-polarized times, non-party-line votes would be more viable. In today's USA, someone breaking ranks with the party on a large or frequent basis could expect a challenger at the next primary election, where political parties choose the candidates they'll have running for the general election. The challenger would be saying the incumbent is a total pushover and an ideological traitor. Vote for ME instead, because I will stand by your values without compromise.


              This is probably the most spectacular example of a prominent politician getting "primaried:"


              en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Brat


              Brat came to national prominence when he defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the district's 2014 Republican primary. Brat's primary victory over Cantor made him the first primary challenger to oust a sitting House Majority Leader since the position's creation in 1899.

              • jgraebner

                In reply to karlinhigh:

                I think an even more prominent case of a candidate getting primaried was Joe Lieberman in 2006. He was a long-time Senator and the 2000 Democratic nominee for Vice President, but ended up getting defeated in the 2006 primary, mainly due to his support for the Iraq war. He ended up running as an Independent and won re-election.

  7. digiguy

    In reply to cavalier_eternal:

    which is very debatable, especially ouside of the US...

  8. rsfarris

    In reply to cavalier_eternal:

    The subcommittee absolutely relies on legal precedent to make reports and recommendations, that's how preliminary legislation works. That doesn't mean there's enforcement at all, and I've seen no one suggest that there is or definitively will be. I haven't seen Paul suggest, and I haven't myself suggested, that this is a done deal or a "victory." The word victory isn't in the article at all. My defense of Paul as reporting the news here is that he's literally just said this report came out and summarizes/quotes some of what's in it. His own opinion only appears in the next-to-last sentence (maybe "damning" in the opening sentence, though that seems fairly accurate). If he misattributed the report to the judiciary committee, fine, but the subcommittee still belongs to that particular committee, so it's a minor infraction from someone who's specialty is tech not politics or government. It's still a very big deal in terms of the news cycle and sets these companies up for an even bigger hurdle going forward, especially if the election polls prove correct. Just to reiterate, I don't think anyone is disagreeing here that this isn't a completed process. I read the article again and I don't see where Paul has said any of what you're claiming. He uses the words "recommends" frequently and summarizes and quotes the specific "recommendations" for legislation that the report provides. I just fail to see how anyone here is making more of this than what it is. I think we're all on the same page and this just seemed like splitting a lot of hairs here.

  9. sevenacids

    How ironic that Microsoft is not in that list. Because, they still have a clear monopoly with Windows when it comes to desktop computing. And "the market power of the dominant platforms risks undermining both political and economic liberties" is also true when you think of their Office or Exchange products - dominent platforms in their respective markets - and their growing dependency on Microsoft's cloud services (future dominent platform in the making).

    • oscar1

      In reply to sevenacids:

      Not at all ironic, monopoly isnt illegal per se. What is illegal is when the monopolist use its dominant position to stifle or crush competition. Just what Apple and Google is doing but Microsoft is not.

    • Paul Thurrott

      It's not ironic at all. Microsoft doesn't abuse its monopoly like Apple does. You can get apps anywhere and never pay Microsoft any fee.
    • rsfarris

      In reply to sevenacids:

      Windows has Chrome OS, MacOS, and Linux as competitors. Office and Exchange products have a host of free or competitively priced competition. These stand-alone products might be dominant in their categories, but Microsoft doesn't control the marketplace in which they exist. That's the key difference. Microsoft's consumer cloud services are in a similar position with competition from Google and Apple.


      However, Azure might end up being subject to any new laws to come out of this because of what you suggest with its possible future dominance. Other companies are having to rely on Microsoft. That's tough though because Microsoft still doesn't fully control that marketplace, with competition from AWS and Google. The company really is much more fragmented than it used to be. And I'm not just defending because I'm a fanboy; I use all Apple products with the exception of a gaming PC, and I likewise hope Apple ends up having to become a much more open company. I want xCloud on my iPhone!


      Microsoft's real trouble might come from consuming too many gaming companies and monopolizing cloud gaming, depending on how dominantly they stamp out Amazon and Google in that space (I suspect that's pretty certain), with Sony additionally relying on Azure to do anything with cloud gaming.

  10. hellcatm

    trump likes apple and facebook, he seems to tolerate Google but hates Amazon. Who do you think he's going to give a little more push to be looked into? apple and facebook give to his campagne, I don't know if Google does, but I know Amazon doesn't. We'll see what happens, but I think apple and facebook will have an easier time of it.

  11. rsfarris

    In reply to cavalier_eternal:

    It's not political to enforce legal precedent. We have a common law system and 100+ years of anti-trust legislation and example. In other words, it's not political posturing to enforce and build upon precedent. That's how the American republic has always worked. It would, in fact, be political posturing to oppose upholding legal precedent (it's also a weird flex when you're the party of 'law and order').


    Second, I didn't read Paul's article as a victory lap. Saying this is a big step and landmark document isn't a victory lap; it's just truth in reporting. Whether anything comes of it or not does not take away from the newsworthiness of the event. Paul's just reporting the news here.

  12. darkgrayknight

    In reply to cavalier_eternal:

    It is a bipartisan committee, so no, it isn't written by Democrats with Republicans against it.

  13. red.radar

    I imagine the recommendation is to break up google and Facebook and pass laws to regulate amazon and Apple who abuse marketplace positioning.


    you could probably break up amazon easily like the baby’s bells and just create 4 or 5 duplicate companies.


    Apple they will probably force design changes and go the Microsoft route. Heavy fines and deep oversight for foreseeable future.

    • wright_is

      In reply to red.radar:

      Possibly. It would make some sense to go that way. Although, with Google, it depends on where the split(s) is/are made. For example Search and Advertising are the clear examples, but Chrome and Android and the relevant stores as well, where do you put them? Under a new entity?

      I don't see much else they can do with Apple, other than split hardware and services away from each other. Then the apps and services would have to compete with other, 3rd party apps and services on a level playing field. Apple tried that themselves in the early 90s with Claris Software, but ISTR that didn't turn out too well for them.

  14. ronh

    Thank you Paul and everyone who has posted. I fall in line with Paul thinking, but the discussion here is excellent.

  15. melinau

    No sane person can genuinely believe that the current situation is satisfactory for anyone except the big stakeholders in these various companies. They have in the past innovated to varying degrees, and provided welcome and valuable products & services, They have reaped substantial rewards for this already. Now, analogously to the Railroads, they are resting on their laurels raking-in monopolistic levels of profit. They also use their huge financial muscle to subdue & stifle competition.


    It will be interesting to see if the US Government (of whatever stripe) has the courage to take these guys on. Sadly I suspect that the vested interests & ideologies of many "Libertarian" politicians and the brute power of the likes of Facebook & Google to undermine & attack those who oppose them make it unlikely.



  16. a_lurker

    Google and Facebook are definitely monopolies. Apple sort of is since they have a walled garden approach to their products but their products are not necessary for most to be online or use most services. The walled garden may be legally dodgy in how it is set up. Amazon is much like Apple. They are dominant in one retail niche mostly because too many retailers ignored online shopping until Amazon was well entrenched. Also, retail is tough segment with many retailers in trouble because of their own mismanagement and stupidity though they often blame Amazon rather than themselves.

  17. waethorn

    Politicians only go after companies like this if they don't propagandize for the party's cause.

  18. sabarrett

    In reply to cavalier_eternal:
    By the time anything happens, the market landscape that created the situation will be long in the past and the remedies will be meaningless.


  19. wright_is

    In reply to sammyg:
    We are in a global market right?

    But laws still cover sovereign nations, they can't act extra-territorially, even if the USA sometimes believes it can - hence the EU, the USA, Australia, China, South Korea and a few other countries all going after one or more of these companies.

  20. Greg Green

    Probably just more campaign posturing, and more importantly campaign contribution posturing. I’ll be surprised if something happens after the election (and the checks are cashed).


    With Republicans ranting about Facebook and this report, you’d think they’d compromise and do something about Facebook. We’ll see.

  21. sammyg

    In reply to lvthunder:

    But Apple controls the minority market share in the mobile space and the gap between them and Google is huge. Not to mention the other big players, Samsung, and the Chinese phone makers.

    • Paul Thurrott

      This is incorrect. This is US only. 50/50 split between Android and iPhone. And there are no Chinese phone makers that have any marketshare in the US.
    • ghostrider

      In reply to sammyg:

      Apple is a monopoly in it's own right. They make the rules, but almost certainly don't abide by their rules. You have almost zero choice with Apple - they make the hardware, software, services etc. No choice = good for their business, bad for any competitors.

    • shameer_mulji

      In reply to sammyg:

      "Apple controls the minority market share in the mobile space"


      That's only true if you're considering global market share. US anti-trust case relies strictly to the US, where iPhone has 45% market share and iPad has 66% market share (according to most recent Statista data). That's hardly a minor and especially when you consider that revenue from iOS / iPadOS app store is double Google's Play Store.

    • wright_is

      In reply to sammyg:

      You are looking at the wrong market. They are looking at the market place for iOS apps, Apple has a monopoly on app stores for iOS and they are providing their own apps to different conditions to those that are applied to third parties trying to sell through the app store.

      That is the problem, not the number of iOS devices, but the control of allowing apps onto them.

  22. crunchyfrog

    None of these companies really fall under a true monopoly. This won't go far, just election year politics.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Literally, all of these companies have monopolies and all of them are abusing those monopolies.
    • Craig Smith

      In reply to crunchyfrog:

      Amazon own the store while also competing in that same store. Via their analytics, they identify products sold in their store that are doing well, undercut the seller until that seller goes out of business, and then increase the price of their own offering. That's what this means:


      "...These firms typically run the marketplace while also competing in it—a position that enables them to write one set of rules for others, while they play by another, or to engage in a form of their own private quasiregulation that is unaccountable to anyone but themselves.


      Apple own the store in which their competitors must operate. In wealthy countries, they have 40% of the customers. They collect a 30% "service fee" from their competitors, who must, therefore, charge more than Apple just to make the necessary margin, while Apple don't charge themselves the fee. They make profit from their competitors as well as from their own equivalent services, for which they can unfairly charge a lower fee. Apple has been caught inventing rules in their marketplace that block apps that are similar to a new service they are launching, i.e. health apps.


      Facebook purchases any company that threatens to compete with them.


      Google is...Google.


      A monopoly is not about share of the market. It's about abuse of power within a market.



      • crunchyfrog

        In reply to craig_smith: If we go with your logic then there are many other companies that need regulation, not just tech. Banks would need to be scrutinized and entertainment companies like Disney and so many others.


        • anoldamigauser

          In reply to crunchyfrog:

          Banks are scrutinized quite regularly, and with good reason. There have been many abuses in the banking industry, which generally have regulations written to curtail those abuses. After a while, we forget about the abuses, and repeal the regulations, which leads, inevitably, to a repeat of the old abuses or new and imaginative abuses...lather, rinse, repeat.

          In another life, I argued in my MBA thesis for repeal of Glass-Steagall...but I was young, and an idiot. Despite obvious evidence to the contrary, I believed that a free market would be more efficient, and that people would not game the system for their own advantage. The important thing to remember is that it is very hard to explain something to someone, when their means of livelihood depends on their not understanding that thing.

          With age and the benefit of hindsight it is clear that most markets require at least some regulation. The thing is, that the regulation needs to be binary and easily understood, so that it does not confuse things and allow people to game the regulation.


    • illuminated

      In reply to crunchyfrog:

      Good idea. I'll post it on Facebook 2.

  23. miamimauler

    So, Microsoft holding 77% desktop market share isn't a monopoly but Android holding a 73% mobile share (StatCounter) is with iOS also having a 25% share. Further, on mobile iOS holds 50% or more in Western countries.


    Why are they ignoring Microsoft's clear monopoly on desktop while attacking Android?

    • SRLRacing

      In reply to miamimauler:

      Because it's not about market share its about market power. Microsoft exercises near zero power over their own Windows ecosystem where Apple as the most extreme example exercises total control. Contrary to popular belief antitrust in the US actually does not gaurd against a company owning 100% market share, in some cases it even encourages it. What it does gaurd against is abuse of the power that market share affords you.

    • Craig Smith

      In reply to miamimauler:

      It's not about percentage, it's about behavior. MS ended up in antitrust in the '90s because they abused their position, using it to unfairly kill competition and mislead customers. For example, MS would learn that a company was developing a product and announce they were developing a competing product. They were so powerful, that customers waited for their version, which never eventuated. The term "vaporware" largely developed because of this behavior by Microsoft. While they are still own a large part of the market, they have almost no power in that market because the PC is effectively in decline.

    • pixymisa

      In reply to miamimauler:

      It's not against the law to be a monopoly. But there are additional laws that take effect when you are a monopoly.


      Microsoft is not - currently - violating those laws. The committee report is of the opinion that Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are.

    • wright_is

      In reply to miamimauler:

      Being a monopoly isn't a problem. Abusing a monopoly position (or abusing the market in general) is.

      Microsoft abused their position in the 90s and were dragged in front of the courts and faced big fines and remedial action. They are still a monopoly, but they had an external controller in their offices for 2 decades to make sure they didn't abuse their position again.

      There is a question over the move to cloud and Microsoft 365 being a new monopoly and whether the bundling is an abuse... But it is, currently, in a different league, compared to Google, Amazon and Apple.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Why you don't understand what a monopoly is? Or that the StaCounter data you mention is for worldwide usage share not U.S. market/usage share? https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/mobile/united-states-of-america iOS: 59.71% Android: 40.09%
  24. olditpro2000

    Interesting. Looking forward to what you find in there, Paul.

  25. Vladimir Carli

    Very good, let’s hope this leads to something. I also hope Amazon and Apple didn’t secretly build up their own army and air force :-D

  26. rob_segal

    In the first sentence, Apple is such an abusive monopoly, it needs to be broken up twice. ?

  27. scovious

    Today is a good day.

    If mobile operating systems like iOS and Android were true open platforms I bet they never would have brought this legal reckoning upon themselves. Facebook and Amazon have always needed some good competition, and they literally have none right now.

    I'm proud to see Microsoft out of all this monopoly talk because of their open platforms, embracing of open source, and experience with anti-trust in the 90s .

    • ghostrider

      In reply to scovious:

      Android is an open platform, iOS isn't. Anyone with the time and money can fork Android into anything they want - it's the Google services that they won't have, and are the key. Nobody would buy an Android phone without any services. I know you can sideload GApps, but they won't be supported.

      • wright_is

        In reply to ghostrider:

        It depends on what you mean by open. Google Android is a closed system and includes the services layer to make it useful. AOSP is open source, but is controlled by Google and doesn't include the services layer, you have to implement that yourself.

        And most people want those Google services. Also, if you offer AOSP you cannot offer Google Android and vice versa, Google doesn't allow it - even the OEM can't make an AOSP handset for one customer and a Google Android handset for another customer - as Acer found out, when they wanted to sell Google Android phones, but were making AOSP phones for another company, they had to decide, make the AOSP devices for the third party or drop them and make Google Android devices for themselves.

    • wright_is

      In reply to scovious:

      Google has done enough in other areas to warrant serious attention.

  28. txag

    In reply to lvthunder:

    Yes, the headline would have been more accurate to say “House Democrats: Big Tech ....”

  29. JH_Radio

    Double apple? you know Brad wrote this report. :) i'm sure he meant apple and Google in the first sentence.

  30. codymesh

    Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon absolutely have monopolies in some markets. Not sure about Apple, even though they tend to be the main trendsetter for harmful monopolistic practices.

    • anoldamigauser

      In reply to codymesh:

      "...These firms typically run the marketplace while also competing in it—a position that enables them to write one set of rules for others, while they play by another, or to engage in a form of their own private quasiregulation that is unaccountable to anyone but themselves.

      That is the position Apple has put itself in with the Store, and that is why they are included.

      • toukale

        In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

        And what exactly will you have Apple do with their store, it is their store after all, a store their created to serve their devices and OS which their create also. Developers do not have to develop apps for the iPhone, if they don't like the terms, it is not that hard. Apple is at best 18% of the market, it is a stretch imo. People are just mad Apple got the users with the most disposable buying power (income) under a lockdown. They want access to those users without paying the entrance fee to the party.

        • jgraebner

          In reply to toukale:

          The idea that Apple can do whatever they want with their store is a misunderstanding of how US laws work. There are all kinds of consumer protection and anti-trust regulations that limit how companies conduct business. As the recent legal and legislative activities show, it's far from clear that Apple isn't crossing any lines.


          As I see it, the clear areas of concern are the following:


          1. Apple and Android each have a significant enough chunk of the US market for smartphones (and Apple completely dominates tablets) that any services targeting mobile can't be competitive without supporting both platforms.
          2. Apple controls the hardware, OS, and the only authorized app store for iOS and they take active measures to prevent competing app stores or alternate methods of installing apps on the platform.
          3. Developers are actively prohibited from offering any methods of payment within their apps, or even including text explaining how to make a purchase externally, other than using Apple's payment processing, which gives Apple a significant percentage of the revenue.
          4. Apple has their own services business that directly competes with other products in their app store. Apple is able to give themselves a competitive advantage, both through prominent placement (some are pre-installed on the devices) and because they don't have to share revenue on sales with another company.


          It's possible that the courts and/or legislature will not find any of this to cross the line, but it isn't hard to see why it needs to be scrutinized. If it is found to be unacceptable, one obvious remedy might be to force Apple to split into separate companies for the hardware/platform and the services business. Another might be to require them to spin off the App Store as a separate business and allow competing stores that are equal citizens on the platform. The remedy could even be something as minor as forcing them to drop the requirement that apps use Apple's payment system.

        • hellcatm

          In reply to toukale: They don't have the users with the most disposable buying power, a lot of their users aren't rich and buy their apple products on credit which they may not be able to pay off and they keep using that credit to buy apps and services. BUT people do stupid things and that's not illegal (unless the stupid thing they do is illegal) and apple not caring isn't illegal either.


        • anoldamigauser

          In reply to toukale:

          Personally? Nothing, I have very little leverage over the folk in Cupertino.

          I would hope that happens is that Apple comes to its senses over things like subscriptions and in app purchases. It won't happen unless they are forced, since the Store makes up, by far, the largest segment of their "services" business, which is a story they need for Wall Street.

          Just a reminder though, Apple commands a far larger market share in the US, which is where this is being investigated; and they are not being targeted for their hardware business, but for "...run(ning) the marketplace while also competing in it..." with the App Store.

        • Craig Smith

          In reply to toukale:

          First, the market share in wealthy countries in more like 40%. But % isn't the point, it's unfair advantage and ability to hurt competitors. For example, Spotify pays a 30% premium to have it's app in 40% of the phone market in the U.S. Apple's music service can, therefore, undercut them by at least 30% in that massive chunk of the market. Apple can also identify a successful app in it's store, based on analytics it privately owns, and then replicate that app while inventing bogus rules to block the competing apps. They have released apps in the past and then removed competing apps from the store. It's this behavior that gets them in trouble, not a share of the market.

          • toukale

            In reply to craig_smith:

            Why do people think its a right for companies/developers to have their stuff on the Appstore? Spotify is the leader in music streaming by far. They can easily do what Netflix does and just have their app on the store just to view not join. People can easily join via the beautiful thing we called the web and Apple won't see a cent. But no, they want to take advantage of what the Appstore offers without having to pay for it.


            As Amazon is proving with their streaming gaming service, you do not need to be on the Appstore to get your services or apps or iOS. All those companies do not need to be on the appstore for iOS users to enjoy their services but they don't want to do that. And for God sake, enough with the excuse they have analytics and can see which apps they need to replicate. That's nothing new, every platform ever have had that option available to them ex... Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook etc... Again, the web is available and Netflix and others have proven you don't need to have any of those options available if you don't want to give Apple a dime.



            • RobertJasiek

              In reply to toukale:

              Some services also work on webpages (such as music downloads) while other services only work within softwares (such as some dynamic, interactive media whose functionality cannot be represented on webpages without additional software). i(Pad)OS is special because the Apple appstore is its only non-jailbreak appstore because Apple sets this rule. To enable fair competition between major OSs, companies/developers have to have the right to offer their stuff on the Apple appstore at fair trade conditions.

              Besides necessity, some companies want access to the Apple appstore to offer allegedly better service than plain webpage downloads to attract more users.

              • toukale

                In reply to RobertJasiek:"

                "Besides necessity, some companies want access to the Apple appstore to offer allegedly better service than plain webpage downloads to attract more users." So the AppStore does provide a service in that case and the fee for that is 30%. Its not hard to see what is going on, companies do not want to use the web, they want Apple to work and provide all those api's and supports for free. What world and year are we in? Like I've said, the web is available and it won't cost those companies a dime.

                • digiguy

                  In reply to toukale:

                  totally agree with toukale on this subject... and to those that speak of fair conditions, they never say what they are... creating an alternative store? Apple has no obligation to do that.... That would be crazy, why should they create a store where they earn nothing on their own platform.... And other than that what is the fair cut? And based on what? What is the cut of physical and digital stores? And don't come and tell me card credit fees, that's not a store, that's just for payments...

                • Paul Thurrott

                  Yeah, it is just for payments. Good point. But credit companies don't own stores too, where they can get another cut, let alone stores with 10x markup on the credit card fees.
  31. mclark2112

    After watching The Social Dilemma last night, I feel like it is about time..

    • anoldamigauser

      In reply to mclark2112:

      Yes, but curtailing surveillance capitalism is way down the list of things they are looking to do. Without privacy, there can be no freedom.

      On the internet, not only do they know you are a dog, but they know your breed, the kibble you like, the fire hydrants you frequent, and a lot more.

  32. brettscoast

    Yep this is huge, I watch with interest look forward to your follow up post's on this.

  33. Chris_Kez

    Where we these people when Walmart went from "scrappy underdog" to schoolyard bully? They exert tremendous control over the marketplace, and famously squeeze their suppliers (with whom they fiercely compete at shelf with house brand goods just as Amazon does) while also treating their employees terribly. They replace dozens of local businesses and transfer a much larger share of their revenue out of the community, providing cheaper goods but leaving a town ultimately less resilient.

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