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DoJ's probe into Apple expanding beyond music - Page 5

post #161 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I was referring to the fact that DoJ ultimately had to settle. If I recall correctly, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case and an appeals court struck down some of the key elements of a lower court's findings against Microsoft (and slapped the wrist of the lower court judge for bias). It's admittedly somewhat dim recollection on my part.

Now, I happen to think that Microsoft was the villain here, don't get me wrong. I was simply referring to the fact that courts strike down these things because of perceived capriciousness, and the fact that it is 'situational' case-making or arguments based on the supposedly 'self-evident' nature of 'market power' that perhaps leads to that conclusion.

It's late where I am and I need to turn in......(yawn).....

No, that's not what happened. The Findings of Fact were upheld on appeal (unanimous decision by the en banc Appeals Court), but the remedy written by Judge Jackson was thrown out and the case referred to another federal judge for the formulation of a new remedy. Jackson was removed because of some things he said to a journalist about the case which were supposed to be embargoed until after the case was done, but he released them prematurely. Then came the election of 2000. The new Bush DoJ snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory by recommending a weak Consent Decree, which the new judge in the case accepted. Pretty much the damage had already been done in the Findings of Fact, though. Microsoft tried to get them overturned on appeal to the Supreme Court, which did not take the case.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #162 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Of course what would torpedo the torpedoing of the investigation would be facts like:
-The fact that you can load music from other retails onto Apple devices says little about Apple applying unfair pressure to help ensure the iTunes music store is that source. Apple 'allowing' music from other sources is simply survival. The iPod and iTunes store would have been dead in the water if iPods could only play Fairplay AAC. People would have bought alternatives if they couldn't play their pirated MP3s.
-Online music sales, led primarily by iTunes, has been the only sector of growth for the music biz for most of the decade. That doesn't mean other players in the market should be suffocated.

Get your history straight.

iPods could play more than Fairplay AAC files because iPods debuted over a year before the iTMS even existed, not because they would have been dead in the water otherwise. [iPod introduced in Oct 2001. iTMS opened in April 2003]

And how is Apple trying to "suffocate" Amazon, by complaining when Amazon gets a competitive advantage? Especially when Amazon was allowed to sell non-DRM'd files before Apple was... as a way to get Apple to agree to variable pricing of songs sold on iTMS.
post #163 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

But they might be found to dominate the mobile app retail market. That is more likely.

"the mobile app retail market"???

What the heck is that?

Are apps for Windows phone, Symbian, Android, Blackberry, and iPhone all considered to be in the same "mobile app retail market"?

If so, then I guess it is good news for Apple that Android is becoming so popular - because it makes it even less likely that Apple can be perceived as having a monopoly-position in that market.
post #164 of 248
I'm surprised that there are this many comments on this topic. Nothing will happen to Apple. They were merely asking for equal treatment. The only "threat" that Apple made was to not make it a featured headline on iTunes.

The issue here isn't Apple. It really is everybody else. iTunes is successful because of the iPod and not the other way around. To the other hardware manufacturers, build things that people enjoy to use that are of high quality and easy to use. Apple isn't competing with you on price. They've begun to show with the iPod, iPhone & iPad that MS's true monopoly solely comes from Office and nothing else. Compatibility only goes so far because the PC (or whatever it's changing into now) is becoming a consumer market.

Apple may have other potential antitrust issues coming up but it doesn't have to anything to do with movies, Music, Flash and TV shows. The upcoming potential problem is the closed nature and the review process of the iPhone OS/App Store and if Apple limits the ability of mobile Safari in support of web-based applications due to App Store sales and iAds.
post #165 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Of course what would torpedo the torpedoing of the investigation would be facts like:
-iTunes has ~70% of online music sales. You know, the market in question.
-The fact that you can load music from other retails onto Apple devices says little about Apple applying unfair pressure to help ensure the iTunes music store is that source. Apple 'allowing' music from other sources is simply survival. The iPod and iTunes store would have been dead in the water if iPods could only play Fairplay AAC. People would have bought alternatives if they couldn't play their pirated MP3s.
-Online music sales, led primarily by iTunes, has been the only sector of growth for the music biz for most of the decade. That doesn't mean other players in the market should be suffocated.

But the main reason why Apple had to tie their iTunes Store songs to their iPod was because the Music labels required that a DRM be in place before they allowed their music to be sold online. Apple came up with "FairPlay". And made it work on their iPods. This satisfied the Music labels. Apple was not about to license their "FairPlay" DRM to other MP3 players because the Music label also required Apple to maintain the DRM if it got hacked. So Apple wasn't about to offer support for "FairPlay" on other MP3 players. Thus the music purchased from the iTunes can only be played on an iPod. Unless you removed the DRM. Which wasn't that hard to do using the iTunes software.

Microsoft on the other hand came out with "Play for Sure" and licensed it to any MP3 player that requires a DRM to play downloaded music. And to any online sites that wanted to sell music. "Play for Sure" was so problematic and unreliable that even Microsoft didn't want to use it on their Zune. Thus they came out with "Zune DRM" for their Zune. Which they did not license and only played music bought from their "Zune MarketPlace" music store.

But all of this is ancient history. In technology years. Once the Music label stop requiring DRM on downloaded music, you can play any downloaded music on any device. And all DRM free music can easily be converted to any format that your MP3 player requires. But by this time, Apple iTunes Store was already beginning to dominate online music because of the popularity of the iPods.
post #166 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post

I meant more to prevent valuable employees leaving to work for your competitors, see the quote I was replying to.

Almost every company (especially tech companies) have that clause written into the contracts, whether they'd actually be able to enforce them is another matter altogether.

And how is an informal arrangement not to poach employees seen as "preventing valuable employees leaving". It will make the process a passive, rather than active hiring process, i.e. if somebody wants to go and work for Google from Apple, they still can. Google just weren't going to say to Apple employees "Do you want to come work for us for x, y and z benefits/bonuses".
post #167 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by bschawla View Post

The government should encourage innovation and creativity.

If they want to fight any monopoly (in their wisdom - if they ever had any!) - they should provide funds for creating better and competing products rather than waste taxpayer dollars on meaningless probes and investigations!

In this way, the money will be used to encourage companies who have ideas to build better products.

I said this in another post. After WWII, we told Japan no more navy, etc and we would be their allies. In turn while we poorer billions into defense, they got busy making great cars and extremetech for the time. We also went from #3 in terms of global Internet speed just 10-15, maybe shorter years ago. We now stand at # 28. Shameful.
Most of these countries you can watch tv anywhere not like the monopoly here is and sine is regulated. It should be a required utility. Not the way it is now.
post #168 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daarom... View Post

Really? Lemme see: DOJ, anti-trust, using dominance to dictate terms... No, you're right, totally non-analogous.

This is just silly and rather glib. Microsoft was almost the only PC operating system at the time. They had something like 80% - 90% of the market. What percent of the smartphone market do you imagine the iPhone has? They aren't even the leading vendor. Monopolies, per se, are not illegal. But using a monopoly in one market to extend a monopoly to another market is illegal and Microsoft's position was found to be officially a monopoly position. I hope the arguments presented in the DOJ are more rigorous than those presented here.
post #169 of 248
The big issue here is that Apple has received its clout not because of force like Microsoft but because people actually want to buy their products. No one really wants to buy cheap knock offs they have to because they can't afford the real thing or they were duped by unscrupulous individuals feeding on people's naivety.

Because people want Apple's products they are able to use purchasing power to leverage deals. There's no difference to what the supermarkets do or the department stores or whatever. More money means more buying power more buying power means better deals.

Manufacturers generally don't mind being pushed to the limits by Apple because they know Apple can sell their products which can only be good in the long term for them. Sure they whinge about the pressures to manufacture but it means good business for them.

No one wants a Zune or an XBox 360 and as a result Microsoft doesn't have as much buying power as Apple and manufacturers don't really want to do deals with a company that they know can't sell their products. As a result the Zune sells for more or roughly the same as an iPod but people would then look at the two and side with the iPod because they trust the brand.

The music industry is whinging because Apple has buying power over them and therefore able to push them around. This is not bad for the customer because it means that they get a better deal on their music. Meanwhile while they are whinging the music industry is raping the artists. Why isn't DOJ having a go at the music industry?

Apple's iTunes wasn't allowed to sell DRM free music or at least had to push damn hard to get it meanwhile Amazon waltzes in and steals Apple's thunder. Apple cried foul and threatened the music industry and now they have DRM free music across the board. Apple isn't a monopoly here because that music can be played on other players that support the format. They just can't use iTunes to get the music on those players. Why should Apple support players they don't make with their software? They're not entitled to do so so why bother? Meanwhile the customer wins again, Apple wins, the music industry continues to rape the artists.

DVDs have DRM and the movie industry enforces DRM on all their videos. Because only Apple supports the FairPlay DRM then only Apple devices can access those videos. This isn't a monopoly situation either because Apple is FORCED into applying DRM and they are using their DRM. No one wants to license the DRM anyway so why should Apple support players that don't want to pay their way?

The App Store is a bone of contention for many players but if developers don't like Apple's way of controlling their OWN product then there's nothing stopping those developers from playing on a different field. You don't whinge at the cricket field because you want to play rugby so why whinge at the App Store because you want to play Android's rules?

When you break it all down Apple hasn't done anything wrong. They've played a better game that's all. They try to play fair and by the rules but the losing teams always want to fight the win despite the fact they played a crap game.
post #170 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikieV View Post


So Apple is just supposed to sit back and watch music companies give a competitor a competitive advantage in sales of those songs, all while promoting those same songs on iTMS?

Apple isn't trying to crush a competitor - like Microsoft tried to crush Netscape - Apple is just balking at a competitor being given unique advantages in the market.

I expect Apple to compete. I don't expect them to interfere with the business and trade of other companies. I don't expect MS to do it, Walmart to do it nor Apple to do it.

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post #171 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikieV View Post

Get your history straight.

iPods could play more than Fairplay AAC files because iPods debuted over a year before the iTMS even existed, not because they would have been dead in the water otherwise. [iPod introduced in Oct 2001. iTMS opened in April 2003]

And how is Apple trying to "suffocate" Amazon, by complaining when Amazon gets a competitive advantage? Especially when Amazon was allowed to sell non-DRM'd files before Apple was... as a way to get Apple to agree to variable pricing of songs sold on iTMS.

6 posts in and already a 'well duh' post.

I never said Apple should, could or would have ever considered not allowing MP3 or music from other sources. I actually said that to have done so would have been suicide from their players, so of course they wouldn't have. The 'history' is sort of irrelevant to the point. Yes, it shows why they initially 'allowed' MP3s. And I explained why they would continue to 'allow' MP3s.

Someone posted a post suggesting that because Apple 'allows' music from other sources, it would kill the DoJ case, with the implication that this shows Apple control nothing. But, as your own posts shows, the reasons for Apple 'allowing' us to play our own music was far more pragmatic to the success of the iPod than showing some sort of altruistic favour to the music companies and consumers.

Apple negotiates their own competitive advantages as well. Their competitors shouldn't decide Apple's terms of trade or business through their partners either.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

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post #172 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post

But the main reason why Apple had to tie their iTunes Store songs to their iPod was because the Music labels required that a DRM be in place before they allowed their music to be sold online. Apple came up with "FairPlay". And made it work on their iPods. This satisfied the Music labels. Apple was not about to license their "FairPlay" DRM to other MP3 players because the Music label also required Apple to maintain the DRM if it got hacked. So Apple wasn't about to offer support for "FairPlay" on other MP3 players. Thus the music purchased from the iTunes can only be played on an iPod. Unless you removed the DRM. Which wasn't that hard to do using the iTunes software.

Microsoft on the other hand came out with "Play for Sure" and licensed it to any MP3 player that requires a DRM to play downloaded music. And to any online sites that wanted to sell music. "Play for Sure" was so problematic and unreliable that even Microsoft didn't want to use it on their Zune. Thus they came out with "Zune DRM" for their Zune. Which they did not license and only played music bought from their "Zune MarketPlace" music store.

But all of this is ancient history. In technology years. Once the Music label stop requiring DRM on downloaded music, you can play any downloaded music on any device. And all DRM free music can easily be converted to any format that your MP3 player requires. But by this time, Apple iTunes Store was already beginning to dominate online music because of the popularity of the iPods.

Yes, Apple had all sorts of reasons to allow non-iTunes music on their players, including the fact that they didn't initially have a iTunes store and even when they did, barring other sources of music would have killed the iPod. Given these many reasons, them allowing other sources of music would have no barring on this case. Which was the point.

oxygenhose made some dumb assertion that the fact that Apple allows other sources of music would torpedo any DoJ case against them. It was as relevant as saying that the fact that Apple allows iPods to sync with Windows would torpedo the DoJ case.

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post #173 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by tawilson View Post

Almost every company (especially tech companies) have that clause written into the contracts, whether they'd actually be able to enforce them is another matter altogether.

And how is an informal arrangement not to poach employees seen as "preventing valuable employees leaving". It will make the process a passive, rather than active hiring process, i.e. if somebody wants to go and work for Google from Apple, they still can. Google just weren't going to say to Apple employees "Do you want to come work for us for x, y and z benefits/bonuses".

Noncompete clauses are binding in most states as long as the time period and scope is reasonable. In a few states (like CA), though, they are really only binding for very high level employees who receive a significant amount of compensation - such as selling their company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avidfcp View Post

I said this in another post. After WWII, we told Japan no more navy, etc and we would be their allies. In turn while we poorer billions into defense, they got busy making great cars and extremetech for the time. We also went from #3 in terms of global Internet speed just 10-15, maybe shorter years ago. We now stand at # 28. Shameful.

The really shameful thing is the way you're butchering the English language. Do yourself a favor and get an education.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I expect Apple to compete. I don't expect them to interfere with the business and trade of other companies. I don't expect MS to do it, Walmart to do it nor Apple to do it.

How is Apple interfering with anything? They simply said that if Amazon gets a song first that Apple will not highlight that song on iTMS. That's perfectly reasonable and legal.
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post #174 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I expect Apple to compete. I don't expect them to interfere with the business and trade of other companies. I don't expect MS to do it, Walmart to do it nor Apple to do it.

How does Apple refusing to spend money on marketing songs given exclusively to competitors for some time, songs for which there would be a relatively low return on marketing investment as a consequence, "interfere [emphasis mine] with the business and trade of other companies?" How does Apple telling record labels that they aren't going to waste their money on this, "interfere with the business and trade of other companies?"
post #175 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

How does Apple refusing to spend money on marketing songs given exclusively to competitors for some time, songs for which there would be a relatively low return on marketing investment as a consequence, "interfere [emphasis mine] with the business and trade of other companies?" How does Apple telling record labels that they aren't going to waste their money on this, "interfere with the business and trade of other companies?"

I was talking about the case of Amazon's offer to the labels to take part in their promotion, without the requirement of advanced, exclusive access. It would simply be agreeing to take part in an Amazon promotion. Apple still pressuring the labels not to take part.

As far as how does it interfere, well how does it not? In that same way that MS interfered with their OEMs trade and business with Netscape, using their marketing dollars. The OEMs stated that MS threatened to withhold marketing support if they agreed to place the Netscape shortcut on the desktop (amongst other threats) which amounted to promoting Netscape. This interfered with the OEMs ability to separately do business and trade with Netscape. Apple threatening to withhold marketing support from the labels if they agree to promote with Amazon doesn't seem so very different.

Apple can and should use their marketing assistance to influence their dealings with the labels. Should they use it to influence how the labels can deal with Amazon? When iTunes was first launching, would you have been accepting of Walmart threatening the labels to remove any marketing support from them if they agreed to terms with Apple that Walmart didn't like?

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post #176 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I will have to defer to old Adam Smith on that subject:



Here as elsewhere, Smith makes it plain that monopolies are bad economics as they invariably make prices higher than they would otherwise be. They also stifle innovation, which is perhaps more of an issue for us today than it was in Smith's day. When "natural" monopolies occur, such as in public utilities, they are typically regulated, with the understanding that the free market response to them would be high prices and insurmountable barriers to entry.


I see the points. However, I wonder if there are advantages too - especially during the period of monopoly buildup.
post #177 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by radster360 View Post

I know...The DOJ is so messed up! I really want to see any consumer protection outcome from their past actions. I am sure there might be some indirect results, but even those that I can't seem to recall. Waste of taxpayers money!


Look no further than your cable modem. It could be a black rotary-dial handset instead.
post #178 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

How is Apple interfering with anything? They simply said that if Amazon gets a song first that Apple will not highlight that song on iTMS. That's perfectly reasonable and legal.

Shit, forget about the early access. As I have repeated, the original BillBoard story says that Amazon went to the labels and offered to drop that requirement (not across the board). But even for those offerings that would be promoted without Amazon getting early access to, Apple still pressured the labels not to deal.

Since Apple's problem was then obviously not limited to the concern about early exclusive access, then they seem to have been concerned simply with deals that would result in the labels co-promoting with Amazon (with or without early access). So what they simply said was that if you partner with Amazon for promotion, we will not partner with you on marketing. Maybe that is OK. When MS said to their OEMs that if they promoted Netscape (i.e. place shortcut on the desktop) they wouldn't partner with them on marketing, was only wrong because they were a monopoly? It might have been legal if they weren't, but right?

So, it is OK to you for Apple, or any other company with a strong market position to 'suggest' to other companies how they can trade and form contracts?

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post #179 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post


As for the use of Flash development system to create iPhone products: Apple believes these are crappy. That is why they disallow them. Why? Do they make a great deal of money from a competing system? I don't think so. You can buy a used Mac Mini for $400 with the SDK built in. Then it costs a whopping $99 to be join their developers group. I hardly see this as a huge revenue stream.

-
IMHO


That is beside the point. The point has nothing to do with Apple selling its dev tools.


apple is saying that if a dev wants to sell a title at the iStore, it may not be written in a manner which will allow it to be sold elsewhere. Instead, it must be written in a manner that gives Apple an exclusive title.

Perhaps the reason they are doing this is to use their app market power in order to disadvantage other platforms, and other handset makers.

I think that is what is being looked into.
post #180 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Can anyone find out which office or person in DoJ is spearheading this witch hunt? I am hoping someone can publish the email address of whoever is in charge so that the Mac community can start bombarding them with negative feedback


Harassing public officials who are doing their job is not the best way to petition the government.
post #181 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I expect Apple to compete. I don't expect them to interfere with the business and trade of other companies.

Then your definition of "interfere with the business and trade of other companies" is different than mine.

Apple doesn't appear to be telling them they can't make deals with competing music stores.

Apple doesn't appear to be threatening to retaliate by stopping the sale of the songs in question - like Amazon did to books published by MacMillan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/te.../30amazon.html
post #182 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by bschawla View Post

The government should encourage innovation and creativity.


They are trying to do exactly that by fostering competition in the relevant markets.
post #183 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

6 posts in and already a 'well duh' post.

I never said Apple should, could or would have ever considered not allowing MP3 or music from other sources. I actually said:

The comment I replied to was:

"Apple 'allowing' music from other sources is simply survival. The iPod and iTunes store would have been dead in the water if iPods could only play Fairplay AAC. People would have bought alternatives if they couldn't play their pirated MP3s."


I can see that making thousands of posts over the last nine years makes you feel superior, but at least try to keep track of which comments you are replying to.

Apple's "Rip, Mix, Burn" slogan pre-dated iPods.

Apple didn't need to support "pirated" mp3s, they needed to support the mp3s people had been making with iTunes.
post #184 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by S_S View Post

Wait, that would only be true if Apple was writing all their native apps and making it hard to install any competing ones.


Apple is the exclusive seller of native iPhone apps. They do their best to make it impossible to install any competing apps.


And before the iStore, there were plenty of places to buy Symbian, PalmOS and Blackberry apps. The issue now is that Apple's store has power over the devs, and Apple is saying that if you want to sell at our store, the only good source of sales, you cannot make the product so as to be saleable in those other stores.
post #185 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

You are fundamentally in error. A "monopoly" is not required for the antitrust laws to be brought into play. What is required is market power in a defined market.

But how much market power? Isn't "monopoly power" a requirement for many of the varied antitrust laws?
post #186 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikieV View Post

The comment I replied to was:

"Apple 'allowing' music from other sources is simply survival. The iPod and iTunes store would have been dead in the water if iPods could only play Fairplay AAC. People would have bought alternatives if they couldn't play their pirated MP3s."


I can see that making thousands of posts over the last nine years makes you feel superior, but at least try to keep track of which comments you are replying to.

Apple's "Rip, Mix, Burn" slogan pre-dated iPods.

Apple didn't need to support "pirated" mp3s, they needed to support the mp3s people had been making with iTunes.

None of which has any bearing on the DoJ investigation nor would result in the investigation being cancelled. You know, sort of the point. Try to keep up with the thread. Otherwise, your posts only add noise.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

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post #187 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


For example, manufacturing companies can offer marketing dollars to their retailers. It has long been determined that it's OK for the manufacturer to only offer the marketing dollars to companies which follow MSRP.


That is called "retail price maintenance". I would be very surprised if companies with monopoly power in a market were allowed to do that.
post #188 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Correct.

But the problem is that the DoJ sometimes comes up with situational definitions of 'market power,' often justified in opaque economics jargon. Courts have sometimes struck it down.


All definitions of market power are justified in opaque economics jargon. That is the proper mode of analysis.
post #189 of 248
should it really be considered a monopoly if no one WANTS to spend their money on the alternatives?

and how can you say it is wrong for distributor to dictate terms to the supplier but not the other way around?

Did the big publishing houses not have the opportunity to negotiate ANYTHING AT ALL with Apple? Were they FORCED to unconditionally accept Apple's terms?

Maybe they were and did so from a position of desperation and now that Apple as a distributor has some real benefit in the market place the media owners have decided they want to renegotiate but rather than doing it around a table they are doing it in a courthouse etc.
post #190 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

The definition is inherently situational, so there's no escaping the need for interpretation. Many times I think it comes down to an operational definition. If a company has behaved in markets in ways that no other can, then market power becomes essentially self-evident. If a company, for example, can insist on exclusive dealing, and get away with it, then by that evidence alone they have market power.


Here's a few definitions. I endorse none of them in particular. But some of them bear out (in part) the "behaved in markets in a ways that no other can" definition. But they specifically refer to the power to raise prices. And they do not require the absence of other, similarly empowered players.

--# In economics, market power is the ability of a firm to alter the market price of a good or service. A firm with market power can raise prices ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_power

# 1. Ability of a firm or other market participant to influence price by varying the amount that it chooses to buy or sell. 2. Ability of a country to influence world prices by altering its trade policies.
www-personal.umich.edu/~alandear/glossary/m.html

# When one or a few large companies dominate power production in a regional market and use such dominance to manipulate the market.
www.impa.com/glossary.asp

# The power that a firm has in a relevant market in the absence of effective competitive constraints in that market.
www.reckon.co.uk/open/Glossary

# Refers to a firm that can affect the quantity demanded of its product by varying its price.
http://www.mbs.edu/home/jgans/mecon/...y/Section2.htm
post #191 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post



the trouble there is that mobile apps aren't flexible. you can no more use an iphone app on an android (and vice versa) than you can use a PSP game on an Xbox.

.


That is the crux of the matter with the other DOJ investigation.

Apps can be written so as to be "flexible", such that they will run on the iPhone AND Android.

But Apple will accept only apps that are not flexible. Is that OK for somebody with as much market power in the dev community as Apple?
post #192 of 248
Freaking communists in the US Government telling everyone what to do. Laissez-Faire! Stay the hell out of business
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post #193 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikieV View Post

"the mobile app retail market"???

What the heck is that?

The market for software for mobile devices. Check out Handango for an example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikieV View Post


Are apps for Windows phone, Symbian, Android, Blackberry, and iPhone all considered to be in the same "mobile app retail market"?

It depends. But given that tools exist to write for all (many?) of those platforms at once, then I think they are in the same market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikieV View Post

If so, then I guess it is good news for Apple that Android is becoming so popular - because it makes it even less likely that Apple can be perceived as having a monopoly-position in that market.

Agreed. And I don't know the relevance of the timeline - do they look at the facts as of the tome of the decision, or as of the time of the complaint?

And I wonder if actual harm needs to be shown, or only the intent to cause such harm.
post #194 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I was talking about the case of Amazon's offer to the labels to take part in their promotion, without the requirement of advanced, exclusive access. It would simply be agreeing to take part in an Amazon promotion. Apple still pressuring the labels not to take part.

As far as how does it interfere, well how does it not? In that same way that MS interfered with their OEMs trade and business with Netscape, using their marketing dollars. The OEMs stated that MS threatened to withhold marketing support if they agreed to place the Netscape shortcut on the desktop (amongst other threats) which amounted to promoting Netscape. This interfered with the OEMs ability to separately do business and trade with Netscape. Apple threatening to withhold marketing support from the labels if they agree to promote with Amazon doesn't seem so very different.

Apple can and should use their marketing assistance to influence their dealings with the labels. Should they use it to influence how the labels can deal with Amazon? When iTunes was first launching, would you have been accepting of Walmart threatening the labels to remove any marketing support from them if they agreed to terms with Apple that Walmart didn't like?

a) As you mentioned before, they "reportedly" ...

b) It still doesn't make sense for Apple to spend money on the promotion of songs which the record labels have established special deals with a competitor for. Are you saying the record labels ought to be able to dictate which songs Apple promotes and how much they spend?

c) If anyone has market dominance here, it's the record labels. They are able to dictate price, who gets DRM free music, have exclusive control of music from individual artists, etc., etc. All Apple gets to choose is what the will spend their money promoting.

d) The situation is not at all analogous to Microsoft/Netscape. Microsoft used its monopoly position in personal computer operating system to attempt to leverage control of other technologies -- i.e., web browsers, and arguably the web itself. In this case, even if we assume the worst of Apple, they will have used a leading position in online music sales to avoid being forced by the record labels to spend marketing dollars as the labels dictate.
post #195 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

minor correction. At the time that the advance sales existed (apparently Amazon recently dropped that as a requirement in the program) it was before ANYONE else could sell the item. Online or Brick and Mortar.

Thank you for the correction. Seems anti-competitive to me, leveraging Amazon's large CD sales to cut out the competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

...The restructuring Amazon proposed eliminated the advanced access for some songs (hence, it being 'just a sale'). The original Billboard article reported that Apple still pressured the labels not take part.
...

--From the Billboard article--
---------------------
".....When Amazon first launched the Daily Deal in June 2008, its primary aim was to drive more customer traffic to the online retail giant's MP3 store. "The labels paid nothing for being included in that privilege, nor were they asked," a major-label head of sales says.

But in mid-2009, the executive says, "that promotion morphed into something where the labels make arrangements to provide an exclusive selling window with Amazon for a big release expected to do a lot of business on street date."

In exchange for a Daily Deal promotion on a new album, Amazon has been asking labels to provide it with a one-day exclusive before street date and such digital marketing support as a banner ad on an artist's MySpace page and messages on label and artist Web sites and social network feeds.

"When that happened," the executive says, "iTunes said, 'Enough of that shit.' "

Sources say that iTunes representatives have been urging labels to rethink their participation in the Amazon promotion and that they have backed up those warnings by withdrawing marketing support for certain releases featured as Daily Deals......

To help labels sidestep iTunes' objections, Amazon has been fine-tuning its Daily Deal pitch on new titles, agreeing, for instance, to forgo the one-day exclusive window on certain ones. But executives familiar with the situation say iTunes has continued to voice its displeasure with other aspects of the promotion, such as label marketing support."

-----------------

So in 2008 the Daily Deal didn't have the 1 day exclusive and no grumbling from Apple mentioned in the article.

In 2009, the Amazon one day exclusive was introduced that included "digital marketing support as a banner ad on an artist's MySpace page and messages on label and artist Web sites and social network feeds." That's when Apple objected and said they would pull their promotions and marketing from the iTunes Store, which is more than reasonable. Look at the numbers sold by Amazon on the Daily Deal.(re: Mariah Carey's "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" U.S. sales of 168,000 units -Vampire Weekend's "Contra," U.S. sales of 124,000)

Soooooo, not only was Amazon getting a one day exclusive the Labels were to provide free promotion on their websites and the artists were to do the same. Anti-competitive much?

Finally, the article states Apple is "voicing their displeasure" even with the Daily Deal sans the exclusive, but it doesn't say Apple is pulling their marketing / promotions over these deals, even though Apple would be correct in pulling marketing / promotion over this deal also.

I'm so tired of everyone claiming Apple wields so much power. Where the heck was the power when Amazon got DRM free music long before Apple (re: and not a peep from Apple)? Where the heck was all this power when the Labels forced Apple to sell it's DRM free music at a higher rate than Amazon? Where the heck was all this power when the Labels forced Apple into variable rate pricing?

The truth of the matter is that Apple is under attack not only by the competition but by the Labels and they finally said,"Enough of that %#(!".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I expect Apple to compete. I don't expect them to interfere with the business and trade of other companies. I don't expect MS to do it, Walmart to do it nor Apple to do it.

Apple is not interfering, they are only holding off providing free marketing and promotion, which costs money, since Amazon's anti-competitive behavior limits Apple's sales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

That is beside the point. The point has nothing to do with Apple selling its dev tools.

apple is saying that if a dev wants to sell a title at the iStore, it may not be written in a manner which will allow it to be sold elsewhere. Instead, it must be written in a manner that gives Apple an exclusive title.

Perhaps the reason they are doing this is to use their app market power in order to disadvantage other platforms, and other handset makers.

I think that is what is being looked into.

You are wrong. Developers are free to write their apps for any other platform, Apple in no way is telling developers that apps for their store are an exclusive.

Maybe someone should write a cross compiler based on Apple's tools, APIs and SDKs, if this is even possible, I'm not a programmer. That way a developer could write the app in C, C++, objC for Apple then just cross compile to other OSes.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
post #196 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


How is Apple interfering with anything? They simply said that if Amazon gets a song first that Apple will not highlight that song on iTMS. That's perfectly reasonable and legal.


If it were "perfectly...legal" it is unlikely that the DOJ would investigate. It remains to be seen whether it was perfectly or imperfectly legal, or whether it was some degree of illegal.

We have neither the necessary full facts, nor the extremely complex frame of reference required to make that decision. Once the facts come out, and once we learn which statute is being applied, we will be in a better position to form opinions.
post #197 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


So, it is OK to you for Apple, or any other company with a strong market position to 'suggest' to other companies how they can trade and form contracts?

If a company with a strong market position suggests that, I would think it to be OK.

If a company with monopoly power suggests that, I would think that it is an abuse of monopoly power, because it is no longer a suggestion, but instead, a command.

If an offer is made which cannot be refused, is it still an offer? How about a suggestion?
post #198 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by replicant View Post

I am not American but I find it so funny how the federal government decides which company to investigate.

Apple is getting a taste of what Microsoft experienced in the last decade when the Feds wanted to break up the company in two. It cost the company money, they lost focus and look at the state of MS today.

At least back then, it was not done in a time of economic recession. Shouldn't the Feds focus their attention on something more important? Where were the regulators when the US had a housing bubble, an oil leak in the Gulf, a banking crisis and so on?

I say to the American people and their governing bodies: leave one of your last remaining great icons alone. You do not have much left in terms of really great companies like Apple.

Yes, this is all an American thing, like the EU never went after Microsoft. And they went after them for the wrong things: not wanting Microsoft to include IE with the OS or for a while, they even wanted Microsoft not to incorporate things such as audio or video playback in the browser. It would be like telling a car manufacturer that they couldn't include GPS or a car radio or air conditioner. The EU investigators obsessed for months (or possibly longer) over how easy it was to install another browser and we all know that it's actually quite easy and always was.

Besides, the government has not "gone after" Apple as yet. All they've done so far is ask other companies about what it's like to deal with Apple and what the terms of the agreements are to see if they are violating any trade laws.

In the end, they'll probably find one or two minor things that they'll ask Apple to change in their agreements and Apple will announce that they will do so voluntarily. Nothing major is going to come out of this. Most changes will probably be about wording in the contracts. I suspect the government may place certain restrictions on some of the exclusive deals that both Apple and Amazon do in that they can do exclusive deals, but they can't ban publishers from their store because they do an exclusive deal with the competition for certain tracks/books, etc. Some of these agreements or "bans" may be construed as being anti-competitive. No big deal.
post #199 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadkid08 View Post

Freaking communists in the US Government telling everyone what to do. Laissez-Faire! Stay the hell out of business


Ken Lay would love you.
post #200 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

You are wrong. Developers are free to write their apps for any other platform, Apple in no way is telling developers that apps for their store are an exclusive.

I spoke too broadly. The titles need not be exclusive. I was going for some kind of "effectively exclusive because the work cannot be sold elsewhere, but instead must be duplicated" sort of thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

Maybe someone should write a cross compiler based on Apple's tools, APIs and SDKs, if this is even possible, I'm not a programmer. That way a developer could write the app in C, C++, objC for Apple then just cross compile to other OSes.

Y'know, I thought of that too. I don't understand why it is not a full and adequate solution.

Adobe should do it.
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