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Apple blocks rival software

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  • User profile image
    Dovella

    Written by Nick Farrell  


    Playing monopoly

    Fruit themed
    gadget maker Apple has been killing off competition from its iTunes site lately.

    This week it told Podcaster that since it wrote code that competed with its own software it would not be allowed to sell its wares. It claims that Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, which duplicates the functionality of the podcast section of iTunes. Many would think that it is fair enough that Apple says who can buy and sell things on its site. After all it does not make sense that it allows rivals to put their software up.

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  • User profile image
    wisemx

    Ever notice how a Snake thrashes violently when stepped on? Big Smile

  • User profile image
    Dovella

    wisemx said:
    Ever notice how a Snake thrashes violently when stepped on? Big Smile

    Big Smile

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    What's really stupid is that you could spend months writing an application, then find that Apple won't allow you to sell it to anyone.

    How dumb is that?

  • User profile image
    stevo_

    Admittedly I didn't think Apple would of done this, I thought they had pulled their heads enough out of their arses recently that they would actually realize that developers empower a platform, and attacking them is foolish..

    I've been thinking about doing some 'back to reality' devices recently.. like a website that lists how many "fkcu you"'s a company does, microsoft, apple and google mainly.. and I also thought it would be cool to have a gigantic thought bubble above each computer in our office (mac and pc), that just had a number in them that told everyone how many crashes / hangs the system has had since a specific date..

    The reason being that windows still has that legacy of 'crashing', despite crashing being something that was more related to the pre nt kernels (10 years ago).. and the macs in our office crash and hang a LOT, and some of them are systems that cost around £12-15k (about 3k tops if it were a PC).

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    stevo_ said:

    Admittedly I didn't think Apple would of done this, I thought they had pulled their heads enough out of their arses recently that they would actually realize that developers empower a platform, and attacking them is foolish..

    I've been thinking about doing some 'back to reality' devices recently.. like a website that lists how many "fkcu you"'s a company does, microsoft, apple and google mainly.. and I also thought it would be cool to have a gigantic thought bubble above each computer in our office (mac and pc), that just had a number in them that told everyone how many crashes / hangs the system has had since a specific date..

    The reason being that windows still has that legacy of 'crashing', despite crashing being something that was more related to the pre nt kernels (10 years ago).. and the macs in our office crash and hang a LOT, and some of them are systems that cost around £12-15k (about 3k tops if it were a PC).

    Mmmm .....

    Jobs really is reverting to type.

    Shame really.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    Ray7 said:
    stevo_ said:
    *snip*
    Mmmm .....

    Jobs really is reverting to type.

    Shame really.

    Could they sue Apple for this? It doesn't seem legal.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    Kolin1

    magicalclick said:
    Ray7 said:
    *snip*

    Could they sue Apple for this? It doesn't seem legal.

    sounds perfectly legal to me for a store, online or off to pick and choose exactly what they want to sell.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    magicalclick said:
    Ray7 said:
    *snip*

    Could they sue Apple for this? It doesn't seem legal.

    Well ... no.

    This is something I've always had a problem understanding. The app store is not considered a distinct marketplace, so they don't have to worry about trade restriction laws.

    Windows is considered a distinct market, so if MS were to attempt the same sort of nonsene, they would be prosecuted, because apparently, Windows is a market all on its own, which MS has a monopoly over.  So according to the law, there is no alternative to Windows, but there is an alternative to the App Store (don't buy an iPhone).

    If I'm right, then first of all, you have to show that the iPhone/iTMS/iPod represents a distinct market that Apple has a monopoly over; at the moment, it is just seen as a series of integrated products, which has many alternatives.


    To be honest, I don't have that much sympathy for the developers on this one. They had the terms & conditions and several years of Apple history to refer to -- they really should have seen this coming.


  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    Ray7 said:
    magicalclick said:
    *snip*
    Well ... no.

    This is something I've always had a problem understanding. The app store is not considered a distinct marketplace, so they don't have to worry about trade restriction laws.

    Windows is considered a distinct market, so if MS were to attempt the same sort of nonsene, they would be prosecuted, because apparently, Windows is a market all on its own, which MS has a monopoly over.  So according to the law, there is no alternative to Windows, but there is an alternative to the App Store (don't buy an iPhone).

    If I'm right, then first of all, you have to show that the iPhone/iTMS/iPod represents a distinct market that Apple has a monopoly over; at the moment, it is just seen as a series of integrated products, which has many alternatives.


    To be honest, I don't have that much sympathy for the developers on this one. They had the terms & conditions and several years of Apple history to refer to -- they really should have seen this coming.


    We have to make an important distinction here between allowing developers to develop for a platform, and selling products in a store.

    If Microsoft were to create a new shop, (say MSShop) they would be perfectly entitled to sell whatever they wanted, as an independant outlet, but to say that products that compete with their own will not be sold in the shop. This is perfectly legitimate.

    What would not be legitimate would be if Microsoft was to design their operating system in such a way as to prevent specific other people developing on it, with the full intention of using their monopoly of the Operating System in order to force customers to use their secondary products. For example, it would be illegal for Microsoft to make Windows prevent you from installing Open Office, or for Microsoft to insist that you can only buy Windows if it comes with Microsoft Office (and not bought seperately).

    The reason for these restrictions is clear. Having a monopoly of a market is not (contrary to common opinion) illegal, nor should it be. Many companies get great benefits of scale, which, if passed down to customers can yield a significant contribution to society. If the monopoly is abused in order to prevent other companies competing with them, then this is a case for anti-trust.

    It is for this reason that Apple's actions are perfectly legal. Apple owns no monopoly over devices to download podcasts (or mp3 players generally) and thus Apple's decision not to market or sell Podcaster's gadgets is perfecly legitimate, since Podcaster can reasonably continue to do business through other outlets or with different devices. Apple therefore has no monopoly, and therefore did not abuse a monopoly position in a way that damages competition in the market, and therefore has no case to answer in regards to anti-trust.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    evildictaitor said:
    Ray7 said:
    *snip*
    We have to make an important distinction here between allowing developers to develop for a platform, and selling products in a store.

    If Microsoft were to create a new shop, (say MSShop) they would be perfectly entitled to sell whatever they wanted, as an independant outlet, but to say that products that compete with their own will not be sold in the shop. This is perfectly legitimate.

    What would not be legitimate would be if Microsoft was to design their operating system in such a way as to prevent specific other people developing on it, with the full intention of using their monopoly of the Operating System in order to force customers to use their secondary products. For example, it would be illegal for Microsoft to make Windows prevent you from installing Open Office, or for Microsoft to insist that you can only buy Windows if it comes with Microsoft Office (and not bought seperately).

    The reason for these restrictions is clear. Having a monopoly of a market is not (contrary to common opinion) illegal, nor should it be. Many companies get great benefits of scale, which, if passed down to customers can yield a significant contribution to society. If the monopoly is abused in order to prevent other companies competing with them, then this is a case for anti-trust.

    It is for this reason that Apple's actions are perfectly legal. Apple owns no monopoly over devices to download podcasts (or mp3 players generally) and thus Apple's decision not to market or sell Podcaster's gadgets is perfecly legitimate, since Podcaster can reasonably continue to do business through other outlets or with different devices. Apple therefore has no monopoly, and therefore did not abuse a monopoly position in a way that damages competition in the market, and therefore has no case to answer in regards to anti-trust.
    Apple's marketshare in the smartphone market is getting pretty large. How long before they actually do become liable for anti-trust? I want class action money!!

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    evildictaitor said:
    Ray7 said:
    *snip*
    We have to make an important distinction here between allowing developers to develop for a platform, and selling products in a store.

    If Microsoft were to create a new shop, (say MSShop) they would be perfectly entitled to sell whatever they wanted, as an independant outlet, but to say that products that compete with their own will not be sold in the shop. This is perfectly legitimate.

    What would not be legitimate would be if Microsoft was to design their operating system in such a way as to prevent specific other people developing on it, with the full intention of using their monopoly of the Operating System in order to force customers to use their secondary products. For example, it would be illegal for Microsoft to make Windows prevent you from installing Open Office, or for Microsoft to insist that you can only buy Windows if it comes with Microsoft Office (and not bought seperately).

    The reason for these restrictions is clear. Having a monopoly of a market is not (contrary to common opinion) illegal, nor should it be. Many companies get great benefits of scale, which, if passed down to customers can yield a significant contribution to society. If the monopoly is abused in order to prevent other companies competing with them, then this is a case for anti-trust.

    It is for this reason that Apple's actions are perfectly legal. Apple owns no monopoly over devices to download podcasts (or mp3 players generally) and thus Apple's decision not to market or sell Podcaster's gadgets is perfecly legitimate, since Podcaster can reasonably continue to do business through other outlets or with different devices. Apple therefore has no monopoly, and therefore did not abuse a monopoly position in a way that damages competition in the market, and therefore has no case to answer in regards to anti-trust.

    Yep, that bit I'm clear on.

    What I don't understand then (and this is probably because I can't see clearly in the grey area) is why MS was illegally maintaining a monopoly, when as far as I can tell, there were always alternatives?

    I'm not saying that they didn't deserve everything they got, I'm just not sure as to why.

    If Windows is a monopolizable market, then why isn't MacOSX?

  • User profile image
    Bass

    Ray7 said:
    evildictaitor said:
    *snip*

    Yep, that bit I'm clear on.

    What I don't understand then (and this is probably because I can't see clearly in the grey area) is why MS was illegally maintaining a monopoly, when as far as I can tell, there were always alternatives?

    I'm not saying that they didn't deserve everything they got, I'm just not sure as to why.

    If Windows is a monopolizable market, then why isn't MacOSX?

    The argument is often that a product is considered to posses a monopoly if there is undue difficulty in obtaining an alternative, or that the product has a large enough market share that the can the company controlling the market can dictate the future of the market in a way that has nothing to do with standard free market forces. That's not even enough to be considered anti-trust, a company which just qualify for this and uses this secure position to lock out competition or enter other markets is then violating anti-trust. If a company or trust forms a monopoly or conspiracy to create a monopoly willfully is that considered anti-trust in it's own right. This is also a (even or especially unofficial or backroom deals between companies to "monopolize" as publically seperate entities) is a extreme criminal offense. This type of stuff was very common before anti-trust laws were enacted to stop it. "Trust" is another word for "cartel".

    For example:
    Clearly Apple is doing the former (locking out competition), but it might be hard to call them a monopoly just yet. It would become better substantial if you can prove that Apple has made it very difficult for anyone to make money writing mobile software without going through them. If you could it might not be so difficult to win an anti-trust suit against them. That would be a anti-trust of the civil kind. If you should show that Steve Ballmer and Steve Jobs for instance had a secret agreement not to step on each other toes too much, that would be anti-trust of the criminal kind.

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