Print 41 comment(s) - last by EasyC.. on Jun 1 at 11:11 AM

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has brazenly rejected calls to open his company's gates to competitors like Flash. And he reportedly has used threats to crush competitors' deals in the digital content industry.
Apple may face its day of reckoning for its bullying on music, Flash, and more

Apple has long played itself up as the cool outsider, making fun of rivals like Microsoft as stodgy, uptight business people.  However, Apple's success has transformed it into exactly the type of company it mocks -- a giant with effective monopolies in several markets.  And according to many observers, the company -- one of the tech industry's largest firms -- has become increasingly brazen in its violation of antitrust laws.

Last week, government investigators began to probe whether Apple broke the law by bullying music companies into dropping a major deal with digital music provider  Exclusive deals are a common promotional tool and scored a win by convincing major music labels to put certain tracks on sale through Amazon's service one full day before their broad release.

Apple caught wind of the deal and reportedly tried to kill it.  Apple, whose iTunes service controls roughly 69 percent of the digital music market, reportedly told music labels that it would penalize them if they carried through with the plan (penalties included refusing to sell the applicable tracks in iTunes). 

Now, according to 
The New York Post, the DOJ investigators are looking to probe Apple even deeper.  It is asking media companies whether Apple is using its position in the market to bully them on a variety of issues including Flash and digital content sales.  And an angry Hollywood appears more than happy to comply with the investigation.  Remarks one source, "The [Justice Dept.] is doing outreach.  You can't dictate terms to the industry. The Adobe thing is just inviting the wrath of everybody."

The investigation follows the decision of several of Hollywood's biggest players, including NBC and Time Warner, to move towards rejecting Apple's iPad because of its restrictive terms.  They instead will be looking to offer Flash-driven products on platforms like Android or webOS tablets.

Is the government overstepping its bounds in digging up dirt on Apple?  Or did Apple purchase its own ticket to trouble by brazenly stomping on competitors and trying to dictate what "freedoms" its customers are allowed to enjoy?  Regardless of your opinion, the government investigation appears to be expanding as it silently marches ahead.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Karma
By dark matter on 5/31/2010 3:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
You're saying having to burn maybe 5-10 gigabytes of music to CD and then convert that back to Mp3s and enter all the associated meta data isn't a barrier...

RE: Karma
By LordanSS on 5/31/2010 4:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
And by doing that, you're getting yet another drop in sound quality:

Compressed MP3 -> CD Audio -> 2nd Compression to MP3

Unless of course you used a lossless format to rip from your CD, then supposedly you'd keep the same quality of the original MP3 file. But still way too much hassle. =/

RE: Karma
By sefsefsefsef on 5/31/2010 6:54:15 PM , Rating: 2
Are you guys not reading the part where music downloaded off iTunes has 0 DRM and can be played on all music devices?

RE: Karma
By sebmel on 5/31/2010 7:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that but it's going to be pretty hard to argue that Apple used it's 30% of music sales as a monopolistic position.

And then continue by arguing that the anti-competitive stance Apple took was to oppose an anti-competitive, exclusive deal by Amazon.

The prevention of the exclusion of iTunes from new releases increases competition, not reduces it.

Now, because Mick has a hard time reading something straight when the word Apple occurs in the phase I'll give him a simple analogy to point out the issue:

Imagine, Mick, that Apple signed a deal in which all movies were released exclusively through iTunes for a month before any other store could sell them. Now think hard, Mick. Would that promote competition or would it be anti-competitive?

That's what Amazon did.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki