DoJ's probe into Apple expanding beyond music

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
An inquiry by the US Department of Justice into how Apple conducts business with the music industry is reportedly expanding to include several of the electronics maker's other dealings.



The New York Post cited "several" unnamed sources who claim the DoJ is reaching out to "a handful of the country's biggest media and technology companies" to get their opinions on Apple, which is rapidly becoming the dominant force in several areas of new media.



"The [Justice Dept.] is doing outreach," one Hollywood industry source told the paper. "You can't dictate terms to the industry. The Adobe thing is just inviting the wrath of everybody."



"If Apple thinks it's going to increase its monopoly with the iPad, it should look at the history of other walled gardens," added another.



The expanded probe will reportedly see the DoJ ask questions about the terms Apple sets forth to developers who want to write applications for the iPad and the company's other iPhone OS devices.



The inquiry began earlier this month after investigators became interested in allegations that Apple used its market power in an effort to prevent music labels from participating in exclusive music distribution deals with rival Amazon.



Apple is also among the tech companies being investigated by the DoJ over hiring practices that allegedly conspired to prevent competitors from hiring each other's employees. That investigation also involves Google, IBM and Intel.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 247
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,582member
    I feel safer already...
  • Reply 2 of 247
    sofabuttsofabutt Posts: 99member
    Knowing the Feds are on the job is such a comfort. Only good can come from this...
  • Reply 3 of 247
    kerrybkerryb Posts: 270member
    The music industry, the movie industry are nothing but walled gardens with attack dog lawyers on long leashes ready to go after anyone that dare make a copy of their products. These cartels like calling the kettle black and will do what ever it takes to leverage the law to do their bidding. Monopolies are legal abusive monopolies are not.
  • Reply 4 of 247
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,809member
    'Outreach'? This is overreach.



    Next, Verzion -- Exhibit A from that other bastion of consumer-friendliness -- will be in line outside the offices of DoJ wailing about Apple's 'walled garden'.



    What a joke. Sometimes you have to wonder why US companies even bother becoming successful.
  • Reply 5 of 247
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    "If Apple thinks it's going to increase its monopoly with the iPad, it should look at the history of other walled gardens," added another."



    Then what's the problem? Wait till the other tablets hit the market and abandon the iPad. Enough people are already predicting the demise of the iPad because of the "walled garden". Why "help" Apple by forcing them to allow Flash on their devices. And as for having an iPad monopoly, where are the iPad "killers" anyway? You mean to say that because nobody else has yet chosen to produce a competing product a monopoly exists? So what's the solution then? Force Apple to stop production and distribution of the iPad until somebody puts something on the shelf at Best Buy, wait for them to sell a few, and then tell Apple it's okay to start selling the iPad again? I'm not so sure that's not how our screwed up government thinks about stuff like this.



    I still think absolutely nothing is going to come of these so far rumored investigations. Remember we only have unnamed sources claiming there is an investigation. Those unnamed sources could be Adobe flacks for all we know. It doesn't even make any common sense. But then common sense is a rather rare commodity in the halls of the federal government.
  • Reply 6 of 247
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    fireballed.
  • Reply 7 of 247
    evadevad Posts: 11member
    I realise that anti-competitive practices are ultimately not good for the industry and consumers. However, I just don't get any of the issues the DoJ is exploring:



    1. So what if Apple doesn't want to allow cruddy Flex apps on its products. Its Apple's platform, why shouldn't they do what they believe is better for their product and their business?



    2. How can Apple be the focus of the DoJ for using its muscle against Amazon .. who were themselves using their muscle to get exclusive music deals. This is just business, isn't it? The music companies are free to make the most compelling commercial decisions.



    3. Why shouldn't companies that invest heavily in their talent pools .. recruiting, developing, and sharing secrets ... contractually inhibit poaching by competitors? The idea of a cool down period of several months, and / or financial burdens, seems entirely reasonable to me.



    So Really I don't get it. It would seem that the US Government want to burden and break the most successful US companies. They are insane.
  • Reply 8 of 247
    spicedspiced Posts: 94member
    Its a conspiracy by those who had missed the boat to delivery the next big game changer....aka smart phone aka Slate/tablet.
  • Reply 9 of 247
    cincyteecincytee Posts: 248member
    Quote:

    ...[O]pinions on Apple, which is rapidly becoming the dominate force in several areas of new media.



    dominant.
  • Reply 10 of 247
    banalltvbanalltv Posts: 238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "The Adobe thing is just inviting the wrath of everybody."



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.



    Steve Jobs

    April, 2010





    How about Adobe using it's virtual monopoly to twist people's arms into paying for useless updates every year and a half?
  • Reply 11 of 247
    banalltvbanalltv Posts: 238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by evad View Post


    1. So what if Apple doesn't want to allow cruddy ... apps on its products. Its Apple's platform, why shouldn't they...



    2. How can Apple be the focus of the DoJ for using its muscle against Amazon .. who were themselves using their muscle to get exclusive music deals. This is just business, isn't it? The music companies are free to make the most compelling commercial decisions.



    3. Why shouldn't companies that invest heavily in their talent pools ... inhibit poaching by competitors? The idea of a cool down period of several months, and / or financial burdens, seems entirely reasonable to me.



    Non-compete clauses are standard things as well, right?
  • Reply 12 of 247
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by evad View Post


    1. So what if Apple doesn't want to allow cruddy Flex apps on its products. Its Apple's platform, why shouldn't they do what they believe is better for their product and their business?



    Replace Apple with Microsoft and 'cruddy Flex apps' with Netscape, and you might get some insight into their thinking...
  • Reply 13 of 247
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daarom... View Post


    Replace Apple with Microsoft and 'cruddy Flex apps' with Netscape, and you might get some insight into their thinking...



    Except that the situations are completely non-analogous.
  • Reply 14 of 247
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Except that the situations are completely non-analogous.



    Really? Lemme see: DOJ, anti-trust, using dominance to dictate terms... No, you're right, totally non-analogous.
  • Reply 15 of 247
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "If Apple thinks it's going to increase its monopoly with the iPad, it should look at the history of other walled gardens," added another.



    Depends on how well the garden is managed. Apple has had this strategy for a long time, and seems to be doing really well with it. Everyone knows what to expect, the apps on the appstore are really well designed, and until recently have been way better then those on Android. (now they are a little bit better.)



    Compare android today to iPhone when the app store was launched and it would still be hard to pick a winner. What I'm saying is that apple knows how to manage its eco-system to deliver products that are superior precisely because they are well managed and controlled.
  • Reply 16 of 247
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post


    Non-compete clauses are standard things as well, right?



    They are standard. That being said the enforceability and legality of most can be in question on a case by case basis. Many courts will rule them invalid as they can stand to prevent a person from earning a living in their trade.
  • Reply 17 of 247
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Yeah -- pick on the successful people. That's the way to have a successful country.
  • Reply 18 of 247
    According to Steve Jobs' letter, Apple asked Adobe for a demo of a working version of Flash on iPhone OS, and nothing...

    So, then they go ahead without Flash, and become the bad guys. Who are the proprietary format folks in this? The HTML5 promotors or the Flash promotors????



    I will agree that Steve Jobs's letter was a bit harsh, only because in the US you just can't publicly say things the way they are, you must always sugar coat. I for one, like the blunt honest approach.



    I am sure the DOJ will find more problems in the Music, Film industry and at Adobe. If not, I think it would be quite absurd to try and punish a company for making a product that works well...
  • Reply 19 of 247
    juliojulio Posts: 5member
    Maybe our government should work on the Gulf problem instead.
  • Reply 20 of 247
    nervusnervus Posts: 17member
    How is what apple is doing with their devices any different with what Sony does with the PS3, Microsoft does with is XBox, or Nintendo does with it's Wii. They are all closed ecosystems where the developer dictates what's available on the system. They also dictate what people can write and distribute on their systems. It's the same thing. They are all closed operating systems that choose what they want to support and don't want to support. An ipad, iPhone, etc are not computers. They are closed proptietary devices that a much more limited in scope as are traditional gaming systems
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