Competition And Fair Pricing
Are Alive And Well With Big Tech
Apple is being investigated in the EU, UK, and the USA regarding anti-trust rules. Investigators are focused on Apple’s App platform, motivated specifically by the allegation that Apple manipulates the platform to reduce competition with apps developed by Apple. The biggest (but not the only) complaint behind the allegation comes from Spotify.
A second developer, Epic, is stirring the pot with the same complaint. Now that they have gained momentum, they no longer want to pay for the right to sell on the store. Apple gets 30% of the first year’s subscription price. Developers agree to this upfront and then when they gain traction, it hurts losing all that money to Apple.
The reading gets a bit thick at times but I found Apple’s response to Spotify thought-provoking.
Addressing Spotify’s Claims, dated March 14, 2019.
I can see both sides but lean heavily toward Apple. Both complaints come from industry hefties whose growth was made possible by the Apple gateway.
And it’s true. Apple offers a great option for developers to get their brand before the public. The fees associated with being in the store are agreed to upfront and the rules are clear. At this point, the suit seems like a “he said, she said” sort of scenario but hopefully, the angst will be sorted soon and the rest of us can get on with life.
Apple, of course, is just one of several being targeted by Anti-Trust investigations. Google, Amazon, and Facebook are all under pressure.
Personally, I don’t use Facebook much but many people do, not only for social benefit but for business promotion also. All these companies serve useful purposes that benefit a large number of people.
The Public Benefit
Data indicates that 197 million people worldwide visit Amazon every month. More than one billion people use Google’s products and services. And Facebook has roughly 2.8 billion active users every month, more than a third of the world’s population. I might add that many of the people using Facebook, Google and Apple are in third world cultures. The benefit is astounding.
CORRECTION: I was recently notified by a “good neighbor” from FRACTL that the numbers have radically changed. Instead of 197 million, Amazon now boasts 2.7 billion monthly searches as of the end of 2021. You can find many other very interesting numbers for Amazon’s amazing growth at CouponFollow.
Personally, I do use Amazon, a lot, and Google, and I’m writing this post using my trusted Apple desktop computer which I consider one of my primary tools for daily productivity. I used PC’s for years before converting but now I can’t imagine anything but Apple.
Sorry, Mr. Gates. I mean no insult. You brought personal computing to the world and I can’t say how much that changed my life so you’re among the heroes too.
I’m not alone, though. In fact, I would venture to guess that the investigators are probably using Apple devices of one kind or another to write their reports and more than likely employing Google search to access data all while munching on snacks they ordered from Amazon. And, of course, keeping in touch through Facebook or one of many varied social apps offered on Apple. [Read more…] about The Line Connecting Anti-Trust And Public Benefit