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FTC believed to be investigating Apple's anti-Flash stance

post #1 of 347
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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has denied a Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to a complaint filed by Adobe against Apple, stating that the release of the information would impede the commission's "law enforcement" duties.

Nearly 200 pages of records regarding Adobe's complaint were requested by Wired this week, and rejected. Adobe filed the paperwork with the FTC after Apple announced it would not allow iOS applications ported from other languages or development environments, such as Flash.

The FTC justified its decision to keep the documents, stating that making them public "could reasonably be expected to interfere with the conduct of the Commission's law enforcement activities." The FTC said that 189 pages are related to the case, but the records are exempt from the FOIA request. The response strongly suggests that the FTC is currently conducting an investigation into the matter.

"The FTC never publicly confirms or denies when an investigation is open or closed, except when it sues or reaches a settlement with a company," author Ryan Singel wrote. "However, both Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal reported in May that the FTC had gotten a complaint from Adobe and opened a formal investigation."

The fight between Apple and Adobe came to a head after Adobe announced it would create an application that would allow developers to port software written to Flash to the iPhone. That software would allow developers to circumvent Apple's ban of Adobe Flash from iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad.

But Apple changed its developer agreement, banning applications written in non-native languages and ported to the iPhone. That prompted Adobe to abandon development of its Flash-to-iPhone porting software, and file a complaint with the FTC.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs publicly commented on the matter in an open letter published in late April, in which he slammed Adobe Flash as a Web tool that is unfit for the modern, mobile era of computing. He also said that an intermediary tool for converting Flash applications to the iPhone would produce "sub-standard apps," and would hinder the progress of the platform.

Jobs said he knows from "painful experience" that allowing developers to become dependent on a third-party tool, such as Adobe Flash, rather than writing natively for the iPhone is restrictive. "We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers," Jobs wrote.
post #2 of 347
Your taxes at work, defending private interests. Please.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #3 of 347
Enforcing laws, you mean.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #4 of 347
So Adobe is mad because Apple is keeping developers from using their product to make a product that would end up on Apple's products. I would be mad if I were Adobe too, but a business, like a person, has the right to decide who to do business with - directly or indirectly. Apple isn't stopping developers from using Adobe products - they just can't use it to create something that will be used on an Apple product. Sounds like a pointless, baseless, complaint and a complete waste of time by the FTC.
post #5 of 347
What laws are you referring to? Apple isn't a monopoly and isn't anywhere close to controlling the smart phone space. Even with the iPhone 4 out, Android is kicking butt (200,000 a day now). And surfing on the Incredible can suck compared to my old iPhone because of the crappy Flash ads that are displayed. Why do we want that on our phones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Enforcing laws, you mean.
post #6 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Enforcing laws, you mean.

Which law?
post #7 of 347
It's now been 3 full years since Apple took their anti-Flash stand. Flash is still not available on any platform (I don't think). I think it might soon be available on Android/Froyo. 3 years of bitching and the product still isn't ready. Wow. And yet they think they need to pressure the FTC.
post #8 of 347
Oh for god sake. Let them kill the vile technology in peace.
post #9 of 347
The whole world's gone koo-koo bananas!
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post #10 of 347
just get it over with already.

Might also want to investigate Apple's anti Silverlight, Java, Cobol, VBScript, C#, Pascal etc stance...
post #11 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadash View Post

What laws are you referring to? Apple isn't a monopoly and isn't anywhere close to controlling the smart phone space. Even with the iPhone 4 out, Android is kicking butt (200,000 a day now). And surfing on the Incredible can suck compared to my old iPhone because of the crappy Flash ads that are displayed. Why do we want that on our phones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

Which law?

No laws at all. Obviously the FTC is just making it up as they go along.

Sigh. You may have noticed that Intel just settled an antitrust claim with the FTC. And no, this does not require any finding that a company has a "monopoly" on anything. As even this brief article points out, an FTC investigation is not a conviction or even a set of charges. It is only an investigation. The vast majority of the time, they result in no further action or an agreement from the company to change practices which violate competition laws.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #12 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadash View Post

What laws are you referring to? Apple isn't a monopoly and isn't anywhere close to controlling the smart phone space. Even with the iPhone 4 out, Android is kicking butt (200,000 a day now). And surfing on the Incredible can suck compared to my old iPhone because of the crappy Flash ads that are displayed. Why do we want that on our phones?

Slightly off topic, but still related.

Did you turn the setting for Flash from "always run" to "on demand"? None of the Flash items show up on my browser (native and Dolphin HD) until I tap on them to allow them to run.
\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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post #13 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post

Slightly off topic, but still related.

Did you turn the setting for Flash from "always run" to "on demand"? None of the Flash items show up on my browser (native and Dolphin HD) until I tap on them to allow them to run.

Click to flash on an Android, great!
post #14 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

It's now been 3 full years since Apple took their anti-Flash stand. Flash is still not available on any platform (I don't think). I think it might soon be available on Android/Froyo. 3 years of bitching and the product still isn't ready. Wow. And yet they think they need to pressure the FTC.

That's a good point.

I'm interested to see if people who own an iPad have actually found the lack of Flash a problem?

I've had my iPad for three months now, and can only think of one occasion where it has prevented me from achieving what I wanted to (trying to buy a framed print on art.com) and that wasn't exactly something that couldn't wait until I got home to get on the Mac.

The more I use the iPad, the more I think this is just a total non-issue. If Flash is such a big part of the internet, I'm obviously looking at the wrong parts of the internet.
post #15 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I'm interested to see if people who own an iPad have actually found the lack of Flash a problem?

Only very occasionally for me. Usually it's nothing more than a video posted to Facebook that I can't view, but nearly always don't really want to anyway. The FTC complaint isn't about the lack of Flash being problem for iPad owners, though. The complaint is an allegation that Apple's Flash ban is anticompetitive. The complaint seems bogus to me, and I'd be very surprised if the FTC didn't come to the same conclusion.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #16 of 347
Adobe just needs to produce a working iOS version of Flash. Someone at Adobe surely has an iPhone they play with. Develop it, prove that it works and show us. If they can prove it works reliably and doesn't drain the battery too easily, what will Apple say now?

I know it will crash at times, but iOS isn't crashproof anyways. There will be battery drain, but that's to be expected. Just try to minimize it.
post #17 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post

The whole world's gone koo-koo bananas!

no.. that would just be America!
post #18 of 347
Hmmm.. Adobe still whining? I wonder if Darl McBride from SCO is running Adobe now? This has his stink about it.
post #19 of 347
It would be one thing if Apple was just prohibiting Flash, but is not the case. It was the media that turned this into a Flash vs. Apple fight.

NO 3rd party run time engines can be installed. There is no Adobe AIR, no Microsoft Silverlight, no Firefox, or Opera
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #20 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

It was the media that turned this into a Flash vs. Apple fight.

Actually it was Adobe that did this, by filing a complaint with the FTC.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #21 of 347
How many people here honestly believe that the iPhone SDK, which destroyed Adobe's investment in making a Flash deployment option fully compatible with all previous versions of the SDK license, was posted two business days before Adobe's release of that product purely by coincidence, and not because of a willful desire to maximize the destructive impact on Adobe's bottom line?

Tip for people who are awake: there's a bounty in the Valley for anyone who can turn up a copy of an internal memo asking the staff to sit on that release until that date. I hear it's not a small amount.
post #22 of 347
Does anyone else remember back when Adobe made great products without bloat?
post #23 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalTroll View Post

How many people here honestly believe that the iPhone SDK, which destroyed Adobe's investment in making a Flash deployment option fully compatible with all previous versions of the SDK license, was posted two business days before Adobe's release of that product purely by coincidence, and not because of a willful desire to maximize the destructive impact on Adobe's bottom line?

Tip for people who are awake: there's a bounty in the Valley for anyone who can turn up a copy of an internal memo asking the staff to sit on that release until that date. I hear it's not a small amount.

Given that it was part of the changes along with the release of the iOS 4 SDK, which was released pretty much on schedule, based on the history of previous SDK releases, the rational conclusion is that it was purely coincidental that it was posted at that time. Apple, unlike many companies in the tech industry, does not pin their success on undermining other companies, so their history would suggest that they did it without considering the impact on Adobe's bottom line, but solely for the purpose of not allowing others to take control of their platform.

On the other hand, there's nothing like a good, but totally unfounded, conspiracy theory to blacken a company's eye, which is really what you are all about.
post #24 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Enforcing laws, you mean.

Which law are they enforcing? Please tell exactly which section of which law Apple has broken and the FTC is investigating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

It's now been 3 full years since Apple took their anti-Flash stand. Flash is still not available on any platform (I don't think). I think it might soon be available on Android/Froyo. 3 years of bitching and the product still isn't ready. Wow. And yet they think they need to pressure the FTC.

Actually, there IS a version for Froyo. It's buggy and slow and drains batteries, but it IS available (on 0.01% of cell phones)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

No laws at all. Obviously the FTC is just making it up as they go along.

Or maybe it's just some silly reporter making it up?

How about some EVIDENCE to back up your position rather than spewing FUD. After all, YOU are the one who said that the FTC was enforcing the laws. Since you were so definite about it, you must know what laws are involved, so please enlighten us.

In fact, if you want to look at Antitrust laws, you could argue the opposite. Let's say Adobe is right and Flash is an important part of the Internet. By not offering Flash, Apple is making it EASIER for competitors to compete because they're not stopping competitors from using Flash. So it's actually encouraging other tablet and cell phone makers to compete.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Actually it was Adobe that did this, by filing a complaint with the FTC.

Probably. They've lost every other battle - with the media and the battle for public opinion. Why not try a last ditch effort?

BTW, you'll notice that there's nothing in FTC's statements that admits that any investigation is going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalTroll View Post

How many people here honestly believe that the iPhone SDK, which destroyed Adobe's investment in making a Flash deployment option fully compatible with all previous versions of the SDK license, was posted two business days before Adobe's release of that product purely by coincidence, and not because of a willful desire to maximize the destructive impact on Adobe's bottom line?

Tip for people who are awake: there's a bounty in the Valley for anyone who can turn up a copy of an internal memo asking the staff to sit on that release until that date. I hear it's not a small amount.

Why would that be the least bit relevant? Companies are allowed to time their product releases for maximum impact. There's nothing anticompetitive about it (unless you think Apple has a monopoly position in creative software suites and CS5 is actually a minority supplier, of course).
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #25 of 347
Adobe sucks.
post #26 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Enforcing laws, you mean.

There is no law that states that Apple must allow flash in their iDevices. Adobe should stop crying and whinning and start building an alternative to flash. That ancient hog has its days numbered. No wonder why Ovi, Blackberry, WP7, Symbian, Meego and as of this date, Android (except 2.2...but very unstable ) dont allow flash on none of their devices. What's next Adobe, you are going to try to force all these software makers to allow flash on their devices...Get over it..Flash is so '00's...this is the touch era. Millions on people would not be buying any of these devices if flash was essential to them on thier handhelds. If it were that would be a different story...Adobe should be ashamed.

Adobe=Ancient
post #27 of 347
Anyone else here notice that the word "antitrust" doesn't occur in the article at all, but is used only by the posters here attempting to rebut a claim that hasn't being made? In logic class that's called that a "straw man argument".

Perhaps a more relevant phrase might be restraint of trade. But I seem to be the only one here who will admit that's just a guess. I don't know the specifics of the complaint filed, and they don't appear in the article.
post #28 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

Which law?

Heh, the law that says you have to support Adobe Flash on your mobile platform.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #29 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isomorphic View Post

Does anyone else remember back when Adobe made great products without bloat?

No. When did this happen?
post #30 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalTroll View Post

Anyone else here notice that the word "antitrust" doesn't occur in the article at all, but is used only by the posters here attempting to rebut a claim that hasn't being made? In logic class that's called that a "straw man argument".

Perhaps a more relevant phrase might be restraint of trade. But I seem to be the only one here who will admit that's just a guess. I don't know the specifics of the complaint filed, and they don't appear in the article.

Anyone else here notice that RationalTroll is grasping at straws. (Or is he grasping at straw men?) And he even admits he has no idea what he's talking about
post #31 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Enforcing laws, you mean.

Finally. Now wecan find out if it's really about battery and crappy performance or because Jobs fears java shock, games and the adobe platform as they (apple already took away nvidia cards) designed to work great "blew out of water, fcp" is one comment I read about premeire and nvidia cards.
post #32 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

No laws at all. Obviously the FTC is just making it up as they go along.

Sigh. You may have noticed that Intel just settled an antitrust claim with the FTC. And no, this does not require any finding that a company has a "monopoly" on anything. As even this brief article points out, an FTC investigation is not a conviction or even a set of charges. It is only an investigation. The vast majority of the time, they result in no further action or an agreement from the company to change practices which violate competition laws.

The FTC would be thinking of restraint of trade or things like that.

I see no requirement for supporting that monstrosity. And now, with the iPhone 4, I have to kill apps like my GPS that keeps the GPS on while it's in the background, and kills the battery.

Let's see how many Froyo phone users do exactly the same thing with Flash.
post #33 of 347
I don't care if flash lives or dies. What I care about is websites having to accommodate to Apple, all because Apple doesn't want to work with Adobe like Microsoft did (even then I don't REALLY care because I'm not a web developer )

Apple not only needs to show that html5 can do what flash can do, but they also need to show what it can do that flash CAN'T do. Why spend money converting a website when the html5 version will work the exact same? To reach a small percentage of viewers? Add to the fact that Safari seems to be the only capable browser for html5 right now and it's an uphill battle for Apple.

As far as keeping it off mobile devices for battery and performance, I'll say that froyo looks like it has promise, but the performance needs some improvement!

In the end, Apple control's their OS, and if they don't want it, nobody should force them. That's just wrong.
post #34 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift View Post

The FTC would be thinking of restraint of trade or things like that.

I see no requirement for supporting that monstrosity. And now, with the iPhone 4, I have to kill apps like my GPS that keeps the GPS on while it's in the background, and kills the battery.

Let's see how many Froyo phone users do exactly the same thing with Flash.

So wait, you just admitted that gps kills your battery when ran in the background, so clearly gps wasn't an issue for Jobs. Really that leaves performance as the reason not to let flash on the device.

And it won't kill anyone to close their browser or put it on a different page (should they absolutely need it to run the browser in the background)
post #35 of 347
Apple can cite RIM and HP/Palm.

Both have been promised Flash although the exact deadline has been somewhat of a movable feast, and both aren't getting it any time soon because Adobe is focussed on the more in vogue/popular platform (Android). And this is exactly what Apple feared. What's to say Apple won't be in the HP/RIM with iOS in the future. Either waiting for a runtime update or waiting for the runtime to work well.

Palm:
Palm: we don't know what the hold-up is' on mobile Flash

RIM:
What's really important... is to get it right. Flash and Flash video have very specific hardware, CPU and memory requirements

And this is the real issue, it's not about open content or that other FUD Adobe like to throw in to muddy the waters. Palm and RIM can both provide great HTML 5 compatibility with their phones off their own back, but Flash performance is in the lap of Adobe.

Adobe lie as well. They've repeatedly claimed (since 2007) they are able to get Flash on the iPhone, yet today in 2010 they can't get flash running on phones which are more powerful than the iPhone 2G and 3G.

The funny thing is Adobe is acting desperate and they have no reason to be desperate. Sure they are going to lose their proprietary middle ware platform, but it was going to die off anyway. But that's no big deal, Adobe makes the best content creation tools in the industry and re focussing and redoubling their efforts on those will see them profitable for many years to come.

When Jobs says Adobe should make great HTML 5 development tools, that wasn't out of spite or with a hidden agenda, it was help surely Apple has launched enough multi-billion dollar businesses now for Adobe to have the decency to listen and not be dismissive or defensive.
post #36 of 347
3/4 of all web video is Flash based
The best advertising is Flash based
The best interactive content is Flash based
All The best movie sites are done in Flash

Flash is extensively used by ALL the big boys. For a reason.

People that hate Flash are just those who hate advertising...which is the only viable financial model for most web sites.

ClicktoFlashers are no different than software pirates: Entitled, sophmoric, selfish, and shortsighted.
post #37 of 347
About half the people posting here are confused about what this case is about.

It isn't about the Flash Player browser plug-in being left out of Mobile Safari (as several have pointed to Silverlight, Java, et al as a comparison)

It's about Apple deciding to prohibit Apps from the App Store that have been built with the ActionScript language and then compiled into a Objective-C runtime.

If they can prove such compiled apps run less efficiently, Apple has a case.
If they can't, Adobe has a case (their case being "what does the authoring IDE have to do with anything as long as the App functions and meets other App store requirements")

Until someone shows that performance is consistently worse, I agree with Adobe.
post #38 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

...The funny thing is Adobe is acting desperate and they have no reason to be desperate. Sure they are going to lose their proprietary middle ware platform, but it was going to die off anyway.


Adobe isn't suing Apple, nimrod. (At least not yet)

This is ANTITRUST, ANTICOMPETITIVE behavior here, and it's appropriately getting investigated.
post #39 of 347
FTC to Adobe: No big deal.
No flash on iOS products.

Sent from my iPhone.
post #40 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by HabaƱero View Post

About half the people posting here are confused about what this case is about.

It isn't about the Flash Player browser plug-in being left out of Mobile Safari (as several have pointed to Silverlight, Java, et al as a comparison)

It's about Apple deciding to prohibit Apps from the App Store that have been built with the ActionScript language and then compiled into a Objective-C runtime.

If they can prove such compiled apps run less efficiently, Apple has a case.
If they can't, Adobe has a case (their case being "what does the authoring IDE have to do with anything as long as the App functions and meets other App store requirements")

Until someone shows that performance is consistently worse, I agree with Adobe.



I agree that it's principally about Flash apps (and other third party authoring tools) but I don't think it's exclusively about that. Since no one here is privy to the docs, I doubt we know what all is in the case.
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