FTC opens task force to keep tabs on competition in US tech market

Posted:
in General Discussion
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday announced the formation of a task force to track competition in U.S. technology markets, potentially putting tougher scrutiny on the practices of companies like Apple, FaceBook, Google, and Microsoft.

FTC headquarters


The Technology Task Force will draw on existing staff from the Bureau of Competition, including 17 attorneys, the FTC said. These people will specialize in areas like online ads, social media, and -- most critically to Apple -- apps and platforms, including mobile operating systems.

"The role of technology in the economy and in our lives grows more important every day," wrote FTC chairman Joe Simons. "As I've noted in the past, it makes sense for us to closely examine technology markets to ensure consumers benefit from free and fair competition. Our ongoing Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century are a crucial step to deepen our understanding of these markets and potential competitive issues. The Technology Task Force is the next step in that effort."

The group will also collaborate with the FTC's economists and Consumer Protection specialists.

The FTC has turned its scrutiny to Apple in the past, for example examining App Store policies regarding music streaming. For the moment the organization has become an ally -- it launched a lawsuit against Qualcomm in January 2017, accusing it of pushing Apple into an exclusivity deal in exchange for iPhone baseband chips. That trial completed in January 2019, though a verdict has yet to emerge.

Apple could come under pressure from parties upset that the App Store remains the only sanctioned place to get iOS apps, and that it suppresses competition by taking a 30 percent cut from third-party subscriptions, while natively integrating its own services like Apple Music.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Note: Google takes 45% of the ad revenue on YouTube.
    genovelleracerhomie3ArloTimetravelerlolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 21
    And 30% of app revenue etc. What happened to the Conservative belief in the free market and being business friendly. I guess that only applied to those who pay for their elections. 
    mac_dog
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Normally this would not alarm me -- apolitical bodies have overseen U.S. for decades and helped the country and its people.

    But increasingly,  agencies are being politicized and given politically motivated missions.  I would want to know the need for this body above and beyond the "technology is important" excuse. 
    Roger_Fingaslollivermac_dog
  • Reply 4 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,918member
    Note: Google takes 45% of the ad revenue on YouTube.
    A fair bit different than Apple and Google taking a 30% cut of independent apps in their storefronts, but still a good mention that some aren't aware of. 
  • Reply 5 of 21
    This might be a problem if customers didn’t have a mostly free alternative using Android. 
  • Reply 6 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,918member
    This might be a problem if customers didn’t have a mostly free alternative using Android. 
    It would be a problem despite Android.

    I saw mention of this a few weeks ago and TBH am not at all surprised that the FTC would have some competition concerns. Between Apple and Google there's little room for anyone else in the mobile space, and in consumer-forward technology it's largely controlled by a very small handful of companies. In general any smallish but innovative companies or any startups finding initial success are fairly quickly snatched up by one of the deep-pocketed big boys, and for the remainder the large techs have put in place significant roadblocks and landmines in order to control their markets and keep the smaller players at a disadvantage. 

    For a number of little technology companies their best hopes for success lie in attracting the attention of Apple, Google, Microsoft, or Amazon and get bought out. 
    edited February 26 avon b7
  • Reply 7 of 21
    genovelle said:
    And 30% of app revenue etc. What happened to the Conservative belief in the free market and being business friendly. I guess that only applied to those who pay for their elections. 

    I have noticed that individuals across the pond like to take any opportunity to insert their political point of view.  Even if it's not relevant to the story.

    This is not a paid advertisment for any political party.

    Just a point of view like the statement quoted above

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 21
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,642member
    genovelle said:
    And 30% of app revenue etc. What happened to the Conservative belief in the free market and being business friendly. I guess that only applied to those who pay for their elections. 
    They are looking at a new way to define anti trust, since the 1970's as long as consumers benefited such as lower cost that was seen as acceptable, today they are worried about how mega companies affect overall competitions. They are more worried about Google and Facebook since they do not charge so consumers pay nothing, but these two have no real competitors, so they could become very sauce over time if they are not already there.
  • Reply 9 of 21
    With this administration, I bet each multinational will have the honour to nominate the members of the task force.
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 21
    Wonderfull. I hope they break all those companies up. 
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    genovelle said:
    And 30% of app revenue etc. What happened to the Conservative belief in the free market and being business friendly. I guess that only applied to those who pay for their elections. 

    I have noticed that individuals across the pond like to take any opportunity to insert their political point of view.  Even if it's not relevant to the story.

    This is not a paid advertisment for any political party.

    Just a point of view like the statement quoted above

    But, he has a VERY legitimate point.
    Traditionally, U.S. government left a company alone as long as it wasn't breaking any laws or acting in an unethical manner -- including abusing a monopoly.   So why would a bunch of free marketers who hate government and favor private enterprise want to step in and start calling the shots?   If a Democratic administration had done this, the free marketers would be screaming bloody murder.

    So, what's the goal here?  What problem are they trying to solve or agenda to complete? It goes directly against their historical ideology.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 12 of 21
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,270member
    genovelle said:
    And 30% of app revenue etc. What happened to the Conservative belief in the free market and being business friendly. I guess that only applied to those who pay for their elections. 

    I have noticed that individuals across the pond like to take any opportunity to insert their political point of view.  Even if it's not relevant to the story.

    This is not a paid advertisment for any political party.

    Just a point of view like the statement quoted above

    Across the pond? As if there aren’t endless political points of view added by Americans in here. For example:

    Normally I would be in favor of these mega corporations being watched and regulated, but seeing as the current administration is supposed to be all about eliminating regulation, I’m suspicious of what the real goal is here. It seems in stark contrast to their stated position of eliminating regulation. It might be more about taking control of industries the conservatives don’t have a foothold in (like they do in the industries where they kill environmental regulation).

    Having a political point of view is part of being a member of a society. You can’t get away from politics unless you extricate yourself from society entirely. Business and politics are intertwined and always will be.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 13 of 21
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,117moderator
    gatorguy said:
    Note: Google takes 45% of the ad revenue on YouTube.
    A fair bit different than Apple and Google taking a 30% cut of independent apps in their storefronts, but still a good mention that some aren't aware of. 
    This is popcorn being eaten in Apple’s Theater.  As far as I’m aware only Apple devices run iOS, and iOS does NOT belong to you, the consumer.  It’s licensed, and therefore remains Apple’s property.  And so that means that all the APIs apps call to interact with the hardware are Apple’s property.  So every app that does anything under iOS is constantly making use of Apple’s APIs, and if Apple chose to make such an argument, they could well make a strong argument that it’s not merely the App Store (and its marketing power) and not merely the purchase transaction, that constitutes justification for its 30% cut, but also the ongoing development and maintainanve of iOS and it’s APIs, which provide the secure, privacy protecting, smoothly functioning and stable platform upon which those apps run.  

    Like when you buy food at the movie theater consession stand, there’s both an extra cost versus the same food you could buy outside and also a prohibition on bring in and consuming food from outside while attending a movie on the theater’s property.  iOS is Apple’s property.  The videos you watch, via YouTube or any other source, and the apps and media you run, are all being run via calls to Apple’s API’s.  This is also true for Windows, et al; the fact those other OS vendors chose not to prohibit externally sourced apps does not argue that Apple has no right to do so.  It’s how they maintain a superior experience.  It may not be possible to do so if they didn’t lock it down as they do.  Witness Android... 
    edited February 27 GeorgeBMacMacProwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,066member
    gatorguy said:
    Note: Google takes 45% of the ad revenue on YouTube.
    A fair bit different than Apple and Google taking a 30% cut of independent apps in their storefronts, but still a good mention that some aren't aware of. 
    This is popcorn being eaten in Apple’s Theater.  As far as I’m aware only Apple devices run iOS, and iOS does NOT belong to you, the consumer.  It’s licensed, and therefore remains Apple’s property.  And so that means that all the APIs apps call to interact with the hardware are Apple’s property.  So every app that does anything under iOS is constantly making use of Apple’s APIs, and if Apple chose to make such an argument, they could well make a strong argument that it’s not merely the App Store (and its marketing power) and not merely the purchase transaction, that constitutes justification for its 30% cut, but also the ongoing development and maintainanve of iOS and it’s APIs, which provide the secure, privacy protecting, smoothly functioning and stable platform upon which those apps run.  

    Like when you buy food at the movie theater consession stand, there’s both an extra cost versus the same food you could buy outside and also a prohibition on bring in and consuming food from outside while attending a movie on the theater’s property.  iOS is Apple’s property.  The videos you watch, via YouTube or any other source, and the apps and media you run, are all being run via calls to Apple’s API’s.  This is also true for Windows, et al; the fact those other OS vendors chose not to prohibit externally sourced apps does not argue that Apple has no right to do so.  It’s how they maintain a superior experience.  It may not be possible to do so if they didn’t lock it down as they do.  Witness Android... 
    The food you eat at the cinema has no bearing on the reason you are there - the film.

    You can watch the film without eating anything.

    You cannot use an iDevice without iOS.

    The two are intrinsically connected and this raises questions. The App Store is currently winding its way through the US system to decide if it constitutes some kind of abusive/uncompetitive system.

    I believe that the EU is also reviewing different aspects of digital platforms.

    I will add that it is completely legal to take your own food to the cinema in Spain and all of the cases that have been to court on this subject have come down on the side of the consumer. Cinemas still try to ban you from taking your own food hoping that you won't bother to make a formal claim. Fines against cinemas can be as high as 6,000€ when they do go to court.

    The logic behind this is simple. Food and beverages are not the prime activity of the business and not allowing you the option of taking your own food allows for abusive practices as there is no competition.

    If the cinema (or theatre or whatever) in question does not offer food or beverages, then you cannot take your own.

    If the main activity of business is food and beverages, you cannot take your own either.

    Social media is proving to be a problem for cinemas on this issue. In one well known case someone opted to take the Burger King menu into the cinema but the cinema refused to let the person in with it. He agreed to dump it but demanded a complaint form (a government form that all establishments must have). The cinema people continued to argue their case but the client just said he would file the complaint and see what the final ruling was. He proceeded to see the film.

    On leaving, he was met by cinema staff offering to cover the cost of his meal but in exchange for withdrawing the formal complaint. He refused and eventually won the case and thanks to Twitter it did the rounds on social media.





    edited February 27
  • Reply 15 of 21
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,117moderator
    avon b7 said:
    gatorguy said:
    Note: Google takes 45% of the ad revenue on YouTube.
    A fair bit different than Apple and Google taking a 30% cut of independent apps in their storefronts, but still a good mention that some aren't aware of. 
    This is popcorn being eaten in Apple’s Theater.  As far as I’m aware only Apple devices run iOS, and iOS does NOT belong to you, the consumer.  It’s licensed, and therefore remains Apple’s property.  And so that means that all the APIs apps call to interact with the hardware are Apple’s property.  So every app that does anything under iOS is constantly making use of Apple’s APIs, and if Apple chose to make such an argument, they could well make a strong argument that it’s not merely the App Store (and its marketing power) and not merely the purchase transaction, that constitutes justification for its 30% cut, but also the ongoing development and maintainanve of iOS and it’s APIs, which provide the secure, privacy protecting, smoothly functioning and stable platform upon which those apps run.  

    Like when you buy food at the movie theater consession stand, there’s both an extra cost versus the same food you could buy outside and also a prohibition on bring in and consuming food from outside while attending a movie on the theater’s property.  iOS is Apple’s property.  The videos you watch, via YouTube or any other source, and the apps and media you run, are all being run via calls to Apple’s API’s.  This is also true for Windows, et al; the fact those other OS vendors chose not to prohibit externally sourced apps does not argue that Apple has no right to do so.  It’s how they maintain a superior experience.  It may not be possible to do so if they didn’t lock it down as they do.  Witness Android... 
    The food you eat at the cinema has no bearing on the reason you are there - the film.

    You can watch the film without eating anything.

    You cannot use an iDevice without iOS.

    The two are intrinsically connected and this raises questions. The App Store is currently winding its way through the US system to decide if it constitutes some kind of abusive/uncompetitive system.

    I believe that the EU is also reviewing different aspects of digital platforms.

    I will add that it is completely legal to take your own food to the cinema in Spain and all of the cases that have been to court on this subject have come down on the side of the consumer. Cinemas still try to ban you from taking your own food hoping that you won't bother to make a formal claim. Fines against cinemas can be as high as 6,000€ when they do go to court.

    The logic behind this is simple. Food and beverages are not the prime activity of the business and not allowing you the option of taking your own food allows for abusive practices as there is no competition.

    If the cinema (or theatre or whatever) in question does not offer food or beverages, then you cannot take your own.

    If the main activity of business is food and beverages, you cannot take your own either.

    Social media is proving to be a problem for cinemas on this issue. In one well known case someone opted to take the Burger King menu into the cinema but the cinema refused to let the person in with it. He agreed to dump it but demanded a complaint form (a government form that all establishments must have). The cinema people continued to argue their case but the client just said he would file the complaint and see what the final ruling was. He proceeded to see the film.

    On leaving, he was met by cinema staff offering to cover the cost of his meal but in exchange for withdrawing the formal complaint. He refused and eventually won the case and thanks to Twitter it did the rounds on social media.





    If that were attempted in the aunited Starws then I imagine every theater would re-cast itself as a private club and your movie ticket would constitute a membership fee, with a limited membership period.  And as a private club the theater would then have wide latitude in determining who could do what on its premises.  It’s ridiculous that it should have to come to that.  Theater patrons should simply vote with their feet in these non-life-threatening types of situations.  It’s not as though going to see a movie needs to be some sort of inalienable human right, like breathing air.  There’s choice; you could take a walk in t e park, read a book, wait until the movie comes to Netflix or over-the-air free broadcast TV.  Shoot your own movies on an iPhone..  Whatever!  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
    bellsbells Posts: 130member
    gatorguy said:
    Note: Google takes 45% of the ad revenue on YouTube.
    A fair bit different than Apple and Google taking a 30% cut of independent apps in their storefronts, but still a good mention that some aren't aware of. 

    Not really. Apple supplies the infrastructure which includes the bandwidth and accounting. Apple supplies free  development tools and resources. Developers know up front that Apple charges this amount  and they elected to develop apps knowing that. Developers can develop for other platforms if they aren’t happy. Last I checked the mark up can be significant in regular retail. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    bellsbells Posts: 130member

    avon b7 said:
    gatorguy said:
    Note: Google takes 45% of the ad revenue on YouTube.
    A fair bit different than Apple and Google taking a 30% cut of independent apps in their storefronts, but still a good mention that some aren't aware of. 
    This is popcorn being eaten in Apple’s Theater.  As far as I’m aware only Apple devices run iOS, and iOS does NOT belong to you, the consumer.  It’s licensed, and therefore remains Apple’s property.  And so that means that all the APIs apps call to interact with the hardware are Apple’s property.  So every app that does anything under iOS is constantly making use of Apple’s APIs, and if Apple chose to make such an argument, they could well make a strong argument that it’s not merely the App Store (and its marketing power) and not merely the purchase transaction, that constitutes justification for its 30% cut, but also the ongoing development and maintainanve of iOS and it’s APIs, which provide the secure, privacy protecting, smoothly functioning and stable platform upon which those apps run.  

    Like when you buy food at the movie theater consession stand, there’s both an extra cost versus the same food you could buy outside and also a prohibition on bring in and consuming food from outside while attending a movie on the theater’s property.  iOS is Apple’s property.  The videos you watch, via YouTube or any other source, and the apps and media you run, are all being run via calls to Apple’s API’s.  This is also true for Windows, et al; the fact those other OS vendors chose not to prohibit externally sourced apps does not argue that Apple has no right to do so.  It’s how they maintain a superior experience.  It may not be possible to do so if they didn’t lock it down as they do.  Witness Android... 
    The food you eat at the cinema has no bearing on the reason you are there - the film.

    You can watch the film without eating anything.

    You cannot use an iDevice without iOS.

    The two are intrinsically connected and this raises questions. The App Store is currently winding its way through the US system to decide if it constitutes some kind of abusive/uncompetitive system.

    I believe that the EU is also reviewing different aspects of digital platforms.

    I will add that it is completely legal to take your own food to the cinema in Spain and all of the cases that have been to court on this subject have come down on the side of the consumer. Cinemas still try to ban you from taking your own food hoping that you won't bother to make a formal claim. Fines against cinemas can be as high as 6,000€ when they do go to court.

    The logic behind this is simple. Food and beverages are not the prime activity of the business and not allowing you the option of taking your own food allows for abusive practices as there is no competition.

    If the cinema (or theatre or whatever) in question does not offer food or beverages, then you cannot take your own.

    If the main activity of business is food and beverages, you cannot take your own either.

    Social media is proving to be a problem for cinemas on this issue. In one well known case someone opted to take the Burger King menu into the cinema but the cinema refused to let the person in with it. He agreed to dump it but demanded a complaint form (a government form that all establishments must have). The cinema people continued to argue their case but the client just said he would file the complaint and see what the final ruling was. He proceeded to see the film.

    On leaving, he was met by cinema staff offering to cover the cost of his meal but in exchange for withdrawing the formal complaint. He refused and eventually won the case and thanks to Twitter it did the rounds on social media.





    avon b7 said:
    gatorguy said:
    Note: Google takes 45% of the ad revenue on YouTube.
    A fair bit different than Apple and Google taking a 30% cut of independent apps in their storefronts, but still a good mention that some aren't aware of. 
    This is popcorn being eaten in Apple’s Theater.  As far as I’m aware only Apple devices run iOS, and iOS does NOT belong to you, the consumer.  It’s licensed, and therefore remains Apple’s property.  And so that means that all the APIs apps call to interact with the hardware are Apple’s property.  So every app that does anything under iOS is constantly making use of Apple’s APIs, and if Apple chose to make such an argument, they could well make a strong argument that it’s not merely the App Store (and its marketing power) and not merely the purchase transaction, that constitutes justification for its 30% cut, but also the ongoing development and maintainanve of iOS and it’s APIs, which provide the secure, privacy protecting, smoothly functioning and stable platform upon which those apps run.  

    Like when you buy food at the movie theater consession stand, there’s both an extra cost versus the same food you could buy outside and also a prohibition on bring in and consuming food from outside while attending a movie on the theater’s property.  iOS is Apple’s property.  The videos you watch, via YouTube or any other source, and the apps and media you run, are all being run via calls to Apple’s API’s.  This is also true for Windows, et al; the fact those other OS vendors chose not to prohibit externally sourced apps does not argue that Apple has no right to do so.  It’s how they maintain a superior experience.  It may not be possible to do so if they didn’t lock it down as they do.  Witness Android... 
    The food you eat at the cinema has no bearing on the reason you are there - the film.

    You can watch the film without eating anything.

    You cannot use an iDevice without iOS 



    Yes but you can use iOS without the App Store much like you can go to the movies without buying food. I bought a phone primarily to call people, text, read my email, and surf the internet. I can do all of this without the App Store which is just a bonus. The original iPhone didn’t even have an App Store. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,918member
    bells said:

    avon b7 said:
    gatorguy said:
    Note: Google takes 45% of the ad revenue on YouTube.
    A fair bit different than Apple and Google taking a 30% cut of independent apps in their storefronts, but still a good mention that some aren't aware of. 
    This is popcorn being eaten in Apple’s Theater.  As far as I’m aware only Apple devices run iOS, and iOS does NOT belong to you, the consumer.  It’s licensed, and therefore remains Apple’s property.  And so that means that all the APIs apps call to interact with the hardware are Apple’s property.  So every app that does anything under iOS is constantly making use of Apple’s APIs, and if Apple chose to make such an argument, they could well make a strong argument that it’s not merely the App Store (and its marketing power) and not merely the purchase transaction, that constitutes justification for its 30% cut, but also the ongoing development and maintainanve of iOS and it’s APIs, which provide the secure, privacy protecting, smoothly functioning and stable platform upon which those apps run.  

    Like when you buy food at the movie theater consession stand, there’s both an extra cost versus the same food you could buy outside and also a prohibition on bring in and consuming food from outside while attending a movie on the theater’s property.  iOS is Apple’s property.  The videos you watch, via YouTube or any other source, and the apps and media you run, are all being run via calls to Apple’s API’s.  This is also true for Windows, et al; the fact those other OS vendors chose not to prohibit externally sourced apps does not argue that Apple has no right to do so.  It’s how they maintain a superior experience.  It may not be possible to do so if they didn’t lock it down as they do.  Witness Android... 
    The food you eat at the cinema has no bearing on the reason you are there - the film.

    You can watch the film without eating anything.

    You cannot use an iDevice without iOS.

    The two are intrinsically connected and this raises questions. The App Store is currently winding its way through the US system to decide if it constitutes some kind of abusive/uncompetitive system.

    I believe that the EU is also reviewing different aspects of digital platforms.

    I will add that it is completely legal to take your own food to the cinema in Spain and all of the cases that have been to court on this subject have come down on the side of the consumer. Cinemas still try to ban you from taking your own food hoping that you won't bother to make a formal claim. Fines against cinemas can be as high as 6,000€ when they do go to court.

    The logic behind this is simple. Food and beverages are not the prime activity of the business and not allowing you the option of taking your own food allows for abusive practices as there is no competition.

    If the cinema (or theatre or whatever) in question does not offer food or beverages, then you cannot take your own.

    If the main activity of business is food and beverages, you cannot take your own either.

    Social media is proving to be a problem for cinemas on this issue. In one well known case someone opted to take the Burger King menu into the cinema but the cinema refused to let the person in with it. He agreed to dump it but demanded a complaint form (a government form that all establishments must have). The cinema people continued to argue their case but the client just said he would file the complaint and see what the final ruling was. He proceeded to see the film.

    On leaving, he was met by cinema staff offering to cover the cost of his meal but in exchange for withdrawing the formal complaint. He refused and eventually won the case and thanks to Twitter it did the rounds on social media.





    avon b7 said:
    gatorguy said:
    Note: Google takes 45% of the ad revenue on YouTube.
    A fair bit different than Apple and Google taking a 30% cut of independent apps in their storefronts, but still a good mention that some aren't aware of. 
    This is popcorn being eaten in Apple’s Theater.  As far as I’m aware only Apple devices run iOS, and iOS does NOT belong to you, the consumer.  It’s licensed, and therefore remains Apple’s property.  And so that means that all the APIs apps call to interact with the hardware are Apple’s property.  So every app that does anything under iOS is constantly making use of Apple’s APIs, and if Apple chose to make such an argument, they could well make a strong argument that it’s not merely the App Store (and its marketing power) and not merely the purchase transaction, that constitutes justification for its 30% cut, but also the ongoing development and maintainanve of iOS and it’s APIs, which provide the secure, privacy protecting, smoothly functioning and stable platform upon which those apps run.  

    Like when you buy food at the movie theater consession stand, there’s both an extra cost versus the same food you could buy outside and also a prohibition on bring in and consuming food from outside while attending a movie on the theater’s property.  iOS is Apple’s property.  The videos you watch, via YouTube or any other source, and the apps and media you run, are all being run via calls to Apple’s API’s.  This is also true for Windows, et al; the fact those other OS vendors chose not to prohibit externally sourced apps does not argue that Apple has no right to do so.  It’s how they maintain a superior experience.  It may not be possible to do so if they didn’t lock it down as they do.  Witness Android... 
    The food you eat at the cinema has no bearing on the reason you are there - the film.

    You can watch the film without eating anything.

    You cannot use an iDevice without iOS 



    Yes but you can use iOS without the App Store much like you can go to the movies without buying food. I bought a phone primarily to call people, text, read my email, and surf the internet. I can do all of this without the App Store which is just a bonus. The original iPhone didn’t even have an App Store. 
    It's not just about the App Store. 
  • Reply 19 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,066member
    avon b7 said:
    gatorguy said:
    Note: Google takes 45% of the ad revenue on YouTube.
    A fair bit different than Apple and Google taking a 30% cut of independent apps in their storefronts, but still a good mention that some aren't aware of. 
    This is popcorn being eaten in Apple’s Theater.  As far as I’m aware only Apple devices run iOS, and iOS does NOT belong to you, the consumer.  It’s licensed, and therefore remains Apple’s property.  And so that means that all the APIs apps call to interact with the hardware are Apple’s property.  So every app that does anything under iOS is constantly making use of Apple’s APIs, and if Apple chose to make such an argument, they could well make a strong argument that it’s not merely the App Store (and its marketing power) and not merely the purchase transaction, that constitutes justification for its 30% cut, but also the ongoing development and maintainanve of iOS and it’s APIs, which provide the secure, privacy protecting, smoothly functioning and stable platform upon which those apps run.  

    Like when you buy food at the movie theater consession stand, there’s both an extra cost versus the same food you could buy outside and also a prohibition on bring in and consuming food from outside while attending a movie on the theater’s property.  iOS is Apple’s property.  The videos you watch, via YouTube or any other source, and the apps and media you run, are all being run via calls to Apple’s API’s.  This is also true for Windows, et al; the fact those other OS vendors chose not to prohibit externally sourced apps does not argue that Apple has no right to do so.  It’s how they maintain a superior experience.  It may not be possible to do so if they didn’t lock it down as they do.  Witness Android... 
    The food you eat at the cinema has no bearing on the reason you are there - the film.

    You can watch the film without eating anything.

    You cannot use an iDevice without iOS.

    The two are intrinsically connected and this raises questions. The App Store is currently winding its way through the US system to decide if it constitutes some kind of abusive/uncompetitive system.

    I believe that the EU is also reviewing different aspects of digital platforms.

    I will add that it is completely legal to take your own food to the cinema in Spain and all of the cases that have been to court on this subject have come down on the side of the consumer. Cinemas still try to ban you from taking your own food hoping that you won't bother to make a formal claim. Fines against cinemas can be as high as 6,000€ when they do go to court.

    The logic behind this is simple. Food and beverages are not the prime activity of the business and not allowing you the option of taking your own food allows for abusive practices as there is no competition.

    If the cinema (or theatre or whatever) in question does not offer food or beverages, then you cannot take your own.

    If the main activity of business is food and beverages, you cannot take your own either.

    Social media is proving to be a problem for cinemas on this issue. In one well known case someone opted to take the Burger King menu into the cinema but the cinema refused to let the person in with it. He agreed to dump it but demanded a complaint form (a government form that all establishments must have). The cinema people continued to argue their case but the client just said he would file the complaint and see what the final ruling was. He proceeded to see the film.

    On leaving, he was met by cinema staff offering to cover the cost of his meal but in exchange for withdrawing the formal complaint. He refused and eventually won the case and thanks to Twitter it did the rounds on social media.





    If that were attempted in the aunited Starws then I imagine every theater would re-cast itself as a private club and your movie ticket would constitute a membership fee, with a limited membership period.  And as a private club the theater would then have wide latitude in determining who could do what on its premises.  It’s ridiculous that it should have to come to that.  Theater patrons should simply vote with their feet in these non-life-threatening types of situations.  It’s not as though going to see a movie needs to be some sort of inalienable human right, like breathing air.  There’s choice; you could take a walk in t e park, read a book, wait until the movie comes to Netflix or over-the-air free broadcast TV.  Shoot your own movies on an iPhone..  Whatever!  
    The chain in question for the above case was Cinesa (part of AMC Theaters - a US chain).

    It all boils down to competition rules and consumer protection legislation in the place of operation (Spain/EU in this case).

    As the article and FTC point out, we will need to evaluate the power of certain companies in certain realms to see if they are stifling competition in some way and legislate accordingly.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    dysamoria said:
    genovelle said:
    And 30% of app revenue etc. What happened to the Conservative belief in the free market and being business friendly. I guess that only applied to those who pay for their elections. 

    I have noticed that individuals across the pond like to take any opportunity to insert their political point of view.  Even if it's not relevant to the story.

    This is not a paid advertisment for any political party.

    Just a point of view like the statement quoted above

    Across the pond? As if there aren’t endless political points of view added by Americans in here. For example:

    Normally I would be in favor of these mega corporations being watched and regulated, but seeing as the current administration is supposed to be all about eliminating regulation, I’m suspicious of what the real goal is here. It seems in stark contrast to their stated position of eliminating regulation. It might be more about taking control of industries the conservatives don’t have a foothold in (like they do in the industries where they kill environmental regulation).

    Having a political point of view is part of being a member of a society. You can’t get away from politics unless you extricate yourself from society entirely. Business and politics are intertwined and always will be.

    Oh, I've never said that, we can be worse than any other country.

    Most time I have read a news spot in the states there is a conspiracy angle.

    I used to think our news agencies were the most (even if I agreed with them).  

    Until now. Not saying ours is not any better but ours is not worse.

    I am not saying I am not a hypocrite because the odds are I am.  it just getting exhausting that you can't look at a news spot without having some type of an agenda.  Or have to figure out how you're going to say something to make sure that somebody is not going to twist it around.

    I thought it was a good idea what your government is doing.

    edited February 27
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