European Commission says Apple is in breach of EU competition law

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  • Reply 61 of 95
    dope_ahminedope_ahmine Posts: 151member
    dewme said:
    crowley said:
    dewme said:

    At some point the cost of doing business in the EU with its parasitic taxation schemes, intrusive oversight, and blatant protectionism may inspire global players to simply take a pass on dealing with any of it at all. 
    Of course it won't.  Money talks and bullshit walks and there's too much money to be made in the EU for Apple or any other company to give even passing consideration to quitting it altogether.  This is a fantasy that far too many people on this board indulge in.  It won't happen.
    Wishful thinking perhaps, but let’s see what 6 or 7 more years of shrinkage and decline yields. Having traveled on business around the world there is definitely an air of growth in some parts of the world and an air of decline in others. Hopefully publicly owned global companies will continue to focus on growth markets and growing economies. 
    Whether EU is a declining or growing market is as irrelevant to the commission’s investigation as the EU’s capacity to innovate. Stop throwing crap in here, and start arguing.
    MephisdogolesPeza
  • Reply 62 of 95
    croprcropr Posts: 1,090member
    sunman42 said:
    Better to read the story first huh? This is not the big one. The big one is the general App Store monopoly.
    In what way, exactly, is the iOS App Store a "monopoly?" It would clarify things to hear your definition. Thanks.
    Form the end user point of view, it is not. 

    Form the app developer point of view this is obvious.    The App Store is the only distribution channel for an iOS app, and Apple is not only defining the technical requirements (security, developing guidelines),  but also the commercial and business requirements (discount policy, account ownership, payments, .. ).  Compare it with the Mac App Store, where the developer has the choice to use the store.  The developer can provide his own app distribution or use his own payment processor.
    edited May 2021 Pezamuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 63 of 95
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,527member
    cropr said:
    sunman42 said:
    Better to read the story first huh? This is not the big one. The big one is the general App Store monopoly.
    In what way, exactly, is the iOS App Store a "monopoly?" It would clarify things to hear your definition. Thanks.
    Form the end user point of view, it is not. 

    Form the app developer point of view this is obvious.    The App Store is the only distribution channel for an iOS app, and Apple is not only defining the technical requirements (security, developing guidelines),  but also the commercial and business requirements (discount policy, account ownership, payments, .. ).  Compare it with the Mac App Store, where the developer has the choice to use the store.  The developer can provide his own app distribution or use his own payment processor.

    More freeloading, you have choice developer, Android, Windows, and Linux have at it….
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 64 of 95
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,515member
    danox said:
    cropr said:
    sunman42 said:
    Better to read the story first huh? This is not the big one. The big one is the general App cropeStore monopoly.
    In what way, exactly, is the iOS App Store a "monopoly?" It would clarify things to hear your definition. Thanks.
    Form the end user point of view, it is not. 

    Form the app developer point of view this is obvious.    The App Store is the only distribution channel for an iOS app, and Apple is not only defining the technical requirements (security, developing guidelines),  but also the commercial and business requirements (discount policy, account ownership, payments, .. ).  Compare it with the Mac App Store, where the developer has the choice to use the store.  The developer can provide his own app distribution or use his own payment processor.

    More freeloading, you have choice developer, Android, Windows, and Linux have at it….
    Cropr is correct. The Apple App Store is the only distribution channel for iOS consumer apps and that is where there could be a problem.

    If your claim about Android, Windows or Linux etc had even a grain of relevance, the investigation would never have got off the ground.

    Remember, any formal investigation is preceded by a stage of consultation to verify that grounds for one exist.

    That alone is sufficient for you to see that something isn't right in what you are claiming. 
    Pezamuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 65 of 95
    avon b7 said: Cropr is correct. The Apple App Store is the only distribution channel for iOS consumer apps and that is where there could be a problem.
    iOS users can also use web apps. One example of this would be game streaming services, like Amazon's Luna or Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming. That's certainly a relevant parallel to something like music or video streaming. Apple does not exert control over the internet or try to take a commission from internet sales, only the App Store. 

    Like I've said before, the EU ignoring the internet connectivity supplied by the same device and all of the information and functions that it provides is problematic. Nobody can claim that consumers who buy smartphones aren't aware that they connect to the internet. Service providers constantly use data rates and internet connectivity as a primary marketing point for selling customers on their phone plans. It really doesn't make sense to treat the App Store as if it's the only method an iPhone owner could use to learn about apps or pricing or payment methods.
    edited May 2021 ericthehalfbeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 66 of 95
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,515member
    avon b7 said: Cropr is correct. The Apple App Store is the only distribution channel for iOS consumer apps and that is where there could be a problem.
    iOS users can also use web apps. One example of this would be game streaming services, like Amazon's Luna or Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming. That's certainly a relevant parallel to something like music or video streaming. Apple does not exert control over the internet or try to take a commission from internet sales, only the App Store. 

    Like I've said before, the EU ignoring the internet connectivity supplied by the same device and all of the information and functions that it provides is problematic. Nobody can claim that consumers who buy smartphones aren't aware that they connect to the internet. Service providers constantly use data rates and internet connectivity as a primary marketing point for selling customers on their phone plans. It really doesn't make sense to treat the App Store as if it's the only method an iPhone owner could use to learn about apps or pricing.
    As I said before, this is irrelevant. It's also true that a web app is not a 'native' app in the same way as an installed app.

    I think there are ways to skirt the issue but the current current situation is crystal clear. Apple is acting as a gatekeeper and using its position to its advantage. Anti competition it is without a shadow of a doubt. App store competitors are simply not allowed to exist.

    Are there ways around this? IMO, yes but I think Apple would rather appeal and see where things go before taking a different route. 
    MephisdogolesPezaxyzzy01
  • Reply 67 of 95
    BittySonBittySon Posts: 68member
    So I suppose that the EU wouldn’t mind if Apple activated a pop up reminding you that you already have access to Apple Music when Spotify notifies you of a cheaper alternative to an in app purchase?
    danoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 68 of 95
    mcdave said:

    By disallowing vertical market options and forcing open market options, the EU is reducing genuine choice.

    The second paragraph is idealistic and echos Vestager’s comment. The success of the App Store vs others is direct evidence against this.

    The EU is pushing choice & informed consent, the most disgraceful way of exploiting people as most can’t resist it’s seduction. What fate do the architects & advocates of this deception deserve?
    1. I think your first statement is a non sequitur. Regulation, in and of itself, need not reduce choice; rather, there is a point of view in some theories of capitalist economics that careful regulation is precisely what is required to ensure the function of the capitalistic system itself. That is because the fair and smooth functioning of the capitalistic system is the precondition for there to be a choice in the first place.

    2. On the contrary. Many people are creatures of habit, and the fact that Apple's App Store is successful could either be: a) An example of customer loyalty; or, b) An example of customer habit. As a former Apple employee myself, I can categorically state that Apple does a remarkable job of building and maintaining its customers' loyalty. Their repeated business is in keeping with the service-profit (satisfaction-profit chain) model of business. That being the case, there should be no fear of informing their customers of alternatives. If the App Store truly does provide the best end-user experience, then customers will inevitably choose it to the competition, but the key point here is that they cannot make that choice under the current model because they lack both the means and the information to make that choice for themselves; this fact alone pushes them into the category of habit as opposed to loyalty, since Apple actually doesn't have to do anything to keep the customer. Supermarkets function in the same way.

    3. How exactly is informed consent and choice a bad thing? Far from it, these are the two bedrocks of capitalism (assuming one isn't a monopolist), and the EU should rather be lauded for its efforts to provide a beneficial and fair regulatory, trading, and consumption model in the Single Market. Political economy* is a messy business in which competing interests must constantly be weighed and evaluated against the common benefit. In general, the EU does this very well, and the best way to know this for sure is rather straightforward: If every stakeholder within the system is equally unhappy, then that system is fair; if one particular stakeholder is absolutely happy, then every other stakeholder is likely being exploited, which therefore damages the system.

    * I dislike the term "economics" as it is an attempt to assert the discipline as an "objective" science akin to physics rather than a "subjective" social science that is itself properly an extension of political philosophy.
    edited May 2021 avon b7nubusPezaxyzzy01muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 69 of 95
    maximaramaximara Posts: 409member
    xyzzy01 said:
    stuke said:
    No one forced you to buy an iPhone nor iPad since 2007. No one also forced you to purchase any smartphone application on the App Store if you did buy an iPhone or iPad.  Get off your high horse and innovate something out of the EU that the rest of the world finds useful, helpful, and or impactful, and is willing with their one free will to pay for that value. 

    @Apple, quit selling in the EU Block. It will last for 3-6 months before the findings are negated. . 

    Innovation? Spotify invented the music streaming service as we know it today - just as Apple was the catalyst of the generation before, the digital music store. My first Spotify receipt is from 2009, Apple launched their service more than 6 years later. (Disclosure: I'm a customer at both - or rather, I have the Apple family membership and my wife has the Spotify family membership due to needing playlists at her job)

    "The music store launched in 2003 but iTunes started life in 2001, when the first generation iPod MP3 player - which stored 1,000 tunes - transformed the world of digital music."  A brief history of Apple's iTunes  (BBC)  Last time I checked 2003 is before 2009.  More over according to wikipedia Spotify as a company didn't exist until April 23, 2006 some three years after the store Apple Launches the iTunes Music Store (April 28, 2003) and some five years after "Apple Introduces iTunes — World’s Best and Easiest To Use Jukebox Software" (January 9, 2001).


    danoxericthehalfbeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 70 of 95
    avon b7 said: As I said before, this is irrelevant. It's also true that a web app is not a 'native' app in the same way as an installed app.
    It can't be irrelevant. The EU is specifically talking about an app being allowed to tell a customer to buy the subscription on the internet. In other words, the EU itself appears to be relying on the internet as part of an anti-competitive solution. That's part of what doesn't make sense about their stance. Consumers have access to the internet on their smartphone regardless of whether they use the App Store or not. They don't actually need an app to tell them that the internet is there or that they can pay for things on the internet, just like pre-internet consumers didn't need CompUSA to tell them that the U.S. Post Office existed and that they could order software through the mail. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 71 of 95
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    maximara said:
    xyzzy01 said:
    stuke said:
    No one forced you to buy an iPhone nor iPad since 2007. No one also forced you to purchase any smartphone application on the App Store if you did buy an iPhone or iPad.  Get off your high horse and innovate something out of the EU that the rest of the world finds useful, helpful, and or impactful, and is willing with their one free will to pay for that value. 

    @Apple, quit selling in the EU Block. It will last for 3-6 months before the findings are negated. . 

    Innovation? Spotify invented the music streaming service as we know it today - just as Apple was the catalyst of the generation before, the digital music store. My first Spotify receipt is from 2009, Apple launched their service more than 6 years later. (Disclosure: I'm a customer at both - or rather, I have the Apple family membership and my wife has the Spotify family membership due to needing playlists at her job)

    "The music store launched in 2003 but iTunes started life in 2001, when the first generation iPod MP3 player - which stored 1,000 tunes - transformed the world of digital music."  A brief history of Apple's iTunes  (BBC)  Last time I checked 2003 is before 2009.  More over according to wikipedia Spotify as a company didn't exist until April 23, 2006 some three years after the store Apple Launches the iTunes Music Store (April 28, 2003) and some five years after "Apple Introduces iTunes — World’s Best and Easiest To Use Jukebox Software" (January 9, 2001).
    Dude, come on, you can read better than that.  He explicitly said "the music streaming service".  iTunes is not a music streaming service, and Apple Music launched in 2015.
    Pezanubusxyzzy01muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 72 of 95
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,515member
    avon b7 said: As I said before, this is irrelevant. It's also true that a web app is not a 'native' app in the same way as an installed app.
    It can't be irrelevant. The EU is specifically talking about an app being allowed to tell a customer to buy the subscription on the internet. In other words, the EU itself appears to be relying on the internet as part of an anti-competitive solution. That's part of what doesn't make sense about their stance. Consumers have access to the internet on their smartphone regardless of whether they use the App Store or not. They don't actually need an app to tell them that the internet is there or that they can pay for things on the internet, just like pre-internet consumers didn't need CompUSA to tell them that the U.S. Post Office existed and that they could order software through the mail. 
    No. That isn't the case. It is about the App Store, not the Internet. The music can be streamed from the Internet. Payments can be made over the Internet. That is irrevelant here because the focus is on the App Store. 
  • Reply 73 of 95
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,527member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said: Cropr is correct. The Apple App Store is the only distribution channel for iOS consumer apps and that is where there could be a problem.
    iOS users can also use web apps. One example of this would be game streaming services, like Amazon's Luna or Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming. That's certainly a relevant parallel to something like music or video streaming. Apple does not exert control over the internet or try to take a commission from internet sales, only the App Store. 

    Like I've said before, the EU ignoring the internet connectivity supplied by the same device and all of the information and functions that it provides is problematic. Nobody can claim that consumers who buy smartphones aren't aware that they connect to the internet. Service providers constantly use data rates and internet connectivity as a primary marketing point for selling customers on their phone plans. It really doesn't make sense to treat the App Store as if it's the only method an iPhone owner could use to learn about apps or pricing.
    As I said before, this is irrelevant. It's also true that a web app is not a 'native' app in the same way as an installed app.

    I think there are ways to skirt the issue but the current current situation is crystal clear. Apple is acting as a gatekeeper and using its position to its advantage. Anti competition it is without a shadow of a doubt. App store competitors are simply not allowed to exist.

    Are there ways around this? IMO, yes but I think Apple would rather appeal and see where things go before taking a different route. 

    In Europe no AppStore, just Apples own programs plus 5000 curated apps on the iPhone, Apple would still be the most profitable phone/tablet/computer maker in Europe and the world. The AppStore is a nice service but it isn’t required beyond 5000 curated apps from a few developers.

    By the time this fiasco wraps up Tim Cook will be retired.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 74 of 95
    kharvelkharvel Posts: 80member
    xyzzy01 said:
    That's not what I'm saying, and you know it. What I'm saying is that using a dominant position in one market (phone platforms) to gain a competitive advantage elsewhere is bad. A better comparison would be a broadband provider launching their own music streaming service and increasing the price for broadband access to streaming competitors.

    The shop scenario isn't comparable as a customer can just go visit a different store.
    30% is not a dominant position in any market by any stretch of imagination.  The broadband provider analogy is flawed and not relevant to this case as the broadband providers are granted monopoly by municipalities over the franchises in their local service areas. 

    I am asking you a serious question: at what % of DEVICE market should a vertically integrated DEVICE company like Apple be considered a monopoly?  5%?  10%?  30%?   Should Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and ANY other vertically integrated device makers be subject to the same rules as Apple?  Why or why not?  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 75 of 95
    PezaPeza Posts: 198member
    davidw said:
    Peza said:
    davidw said:
    Peza said:
    Haha not surprised in the slightest, it was obvious they would find Apple guilty because Apple has breached their regulations and laws, it is the job of any company to know and understand the laws and regulations of your select market no matter the size. 
    What will be interesting is the penalty that will be imposed, the EU will hit hard if required in any company with penalties, I suspect they will force Apple to change its store policy in Europe. Spotify did have a point too over this though and the heat was obviously building up against Apple, need to share the wealth fairly.
    The EU Commission is not the courts. They did not find Apple guilty of anything. They only did the investigation and concluded that Apple is violating EU competition laws. It's going to be up to the EU courts to determine if Apple is guilty of the charges. This will takes years and then you have to add even more years for the appeal process.  

    Remember, the EU commission did a 2 year investigation and in 2016 and concluded that Apple was avoiding taxes for years, by setting up their HQ in Ireland, (who they claimed was giving Apple favorable treatment) and the commission ordered Apple to pay nearly $15B in back taxes. But Apple (and Ireland) appealed the ruling in an EU court and won. So now the EU commission is appealing that decision. This been going on for 5 years now and counting. Apple has already set aside the $15B. It seems that with this case, it was the EU Commission that did not know and understand their own laws. 

    https://www.theverge.com/2020/7/15/21325325/apple-eu-ireland-back-taxes-13-billion-overturned-appealed


    So don't go out and celebrate yet. Hopefully anything you bought for your big celebration party will keep for another 5 or more years. 
    Firstly, get it right, the EU didn’t accuse Apple of anything surrounding taxes, it accused Ireland of breaching state aide regulations and law over its favoured tax levels they agreed for Apple to pay, their grievance was with Ireland and it is Ireland that must pay 12 billion in back taxes. But what do you expect when it’s all true and Apple was paying 0.005% in tax through offices existing in paper only.
    Secondly, if you know one thing it’s that the EU won’t give up, also it does not take years to bring cases to conclusion, and it does not let cases be buried in appeals processes. This is anti competitive behaviour not tax evasion by one of its member states.

    Perhaps you should look at the way they have treated other electronic corporation electronic giants to get an understanding of how it treats them when they breach competition laws, not like how they are treated in US law that’s for certain.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Corp._v._Commission
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_vs._Google

    When it comes to anti competitive behaviour, the EU has incredibly strong laws and regulations over it, and it vehemently defends them and enforces them. You can expect a big fine to be levied on Apple or it will be forced to change its App Store policies to continue operating within the EU market, or maybe both, if found guilty. We shall see.
    So you admit that you were wrong, when you claimed that the EU found Apple "guilty". If by "We shall see.", you also include yourself, then you admit that you don't know if Apple will be found guilty of anything, yet.

    The EU accused Apple of avoiding taxes and wanted Apple to pay $15B in back taxes, not Ireland. What the EU Commission got wrong was that there is no laws set by the EU regarding tax rates in any of its members country. Each member country can set their own tax rates. But the taxes must be applied to all equally. The EU Commission claimed that Apple received a special tax deal from Ireland. But Ireland low tax rates were applied equally and did not favor any one company.

    This is what the EU court ruled and thus Apple did not receive any special tax treatment and don't owe the back taxes. The EU Commission was accusing Apple of receiving special tax treatment and was demanding that Apple pay the $15B in back taxes. Ireland was not demanding that Apple pay the back tax and yet Apple aside $15B, in case the lost. Why? If no one was demanding that Apple pay $15B in back taxes. And how in the name of Hell can Ireland owe and must pay "back taxes" to themselves? What's the point in that? That would be like if the US Federal government were to claim that because TX do not collect a State income tax, they owe themselves back taxes that they didn't collect.

    Ireland was never accused of tax "evasion". Neither was Apple. Tax "avoidance", by paying as little taxes as legally possible, is not illegal. Not even in the EU. But In the EU, it is illegal if one got special tax treatment in order to pay less taxes. This was what the EU Commission did not prove, that Ireland gave Apple any special tax treatment.   

    It took a decade, to finally win anti-completive charges against Google. I don't know what you consider "years", but a decade is by definition ......10 years. Even if the EU Commission were to cut that time in half, it would still be  ....... years. And this was a case of anti-competitive behavior against a company (Google), that controls 90% of the search engine market. A monopoly, by any definition. 

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/11/10/eu-antitrust-probe-google/
    Perhaps you should read this link? I’m not sure you fully grasp State Aid rules. Also no, Ireland is the EU member state, it is the one who they requested pay back the taxes.

    http://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_16_2923

    You seem to have little understanding about what EU state aide rules are claiming it’s tax evasion? Tax evasion isn’t mentioned. You seem to be mixing the two things up. You also neglected the other fines they have levied on Google and merely concentrated on the one that suits your agreement. How convenient, they’ve fined Google 8 billion and counting so far. For various breaches.
    Your Defense of Apple is only driven by your misunderstanding it would appear. Concentrating on the appeal, that in your logic only Apple brought and won and not Ireland, again to suite your argument. 
    Also convenient how you totally ignored the Microsoft case, but that’s against your argument so not surprising perhaps. 

    Regardless it has little to do with this case of anti competitive behaviour by Apple and won’t mean a thing in court, and I expect Apple to lose. It’s a preliminary judgment, and history shows they usually lead to guilty charges looking at previous cases. As stated above they will have performed investigations into weather they could build a case first, before investigating the case coming to their preliminary conclusion.
    edited May 2021 Mephisdogolesnubus
  • Reply 76 of 95
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 464member
    Even though it is way too little and I know this from being a professional. Apple pays the highest at 1 cent a play. It is sad but they are not the worst in the game. There was never a time when musicians were not exploited. Long before living in a digital world. Read up on Billy Joel.
  • Reply 77 of 95
    zebratrainzebratrain Posts: 22member
    The bottom line is that apple does NOT pay its fair share in taxes. It finds loopholes to pay less to the detriment of the social systems that produced the wealth necessary to buy their products. I say let them win their argument and use it against them to make them pay their fare share.
    FoodLover
  • Reply 78 of 95
    revenantrevenant Posts: 621member
    what if people wanted a different government? they are stuck with the EU, the EU has a monopoly of power in Europe. 

    why does apple need to open their phone to google? that is the stupidest thing I ever heard of. does Mercedes allow people to put Volkswagen software or parts into the Mercedes automobile? no, no they do not. android and apple may have the larger share, but if if we are to take the EU seriously, they need to be the same all ways round with all markets. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 79 of 95
    revenantrevenant Posts: 621member
    dewme said:
    crowley said:
    dewme said:

    At some point the cost of doing business in the EU with its parasitic taxation schemes, intrusive oversight, and blatant protectionism may inspire global players to simply take a pass on dealing with any of it at all. 
    Of course it won't.  Money talks and bullshit walks and there's too much money to be made in the EU for Apple or any other company to give even passing consideration to quitting it altogether.  This is a fantasy that far too many people on this board indulge in.  It won't happen.
    Wishful thinking perhaps, but let’s see what 6 or 7 more years of shrinkage and decline yields. Having traveled on business around the world there is definitely an air of growth in some parts of the world and an air of decline in others. Hopefully publicly owned global companies will continue to focus on growth markets and growing economies. 
    Whether EU is a declining or growing market is as irrelevant to the commission’s investigation as the EU’s capacity to innovate. Stop throwing crap in here, and start arguing.
    this is a forum, there does not need to be an argument. this person is not breaking the rules at all; feel free to not engage.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 80 of 95
    zebratrainzebratrain Posts: 22member
    revenant said:
    what if people wanted a different government? they are stuck with the EU, the EU has a monopoly of power in Europe. 

    No wrong. Governments in EU are democratic institutions. Apple is a for profit company. As we all know companies at this scale are run with logistics and methodologies derived from army operations. A company such as apple is so far removed from the democratic process that actual governments have to put them back in line when they falter and have anti-social behaviour.
    FoodLoverxyzzy01
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