Senator Warren: Apple, Amazon, Google Killing Competition

| Analysis

Apple, Amazon, and Google are abusing their market strength to block competition from smaller companies, according to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). In a speech at the America’s Monopoly Problem on Wednesday, she said the three companies are using their size to “snuff out competition,” and she’s at least partly right.

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Warren says Apple, Amazon, and Google are killing market competition

The three companies are industry power houses, and they’re all aggressively pursuing markets. Since Senator Warren isn’t pushing for antitrust investigations, it seems she doesn’t see this as an abuse of monopoly powers, but does think federal regulators have been shirking their responsibility.

Apple, she said, “has placed conditions on its rivals that make it difficult for them to offer competitive streaming services.” Amazon controls the book market by using “its position as the dominant bookseller to steer consumers to books published by Amazon to the detriment of other publishers.” Google is gaming the search market by using “its dominant search engine to harm rivals of its Google Plus user review feature.”

Her comments were part of a presentation on the economic threats posed by “consolidation and concentration,” according the Re/code. She says the companies are using their strength and size to block competition from smaller companies and startups.

Apple kills the music

In Apple’s case, Senator Warren is referring to Apple Music, which is a year old today. Apple has been considered a late comer to the streaming music game where it’s competing with Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal.

While Apple is a major player in the online music market, it’s a new comer to streaming music. Apple isn’t, however, playing fair, according to Spotify’s Global Head of Communications and Public Policy Jonathan Prince. He said,

Apple has long used its control of iOS to squash competition in music, driving up the prices of its competitors, inappropriately forbidding us from telling our customers about lower prices, and giving itself unfair advantages across its platform through everything from the lock screen to Siri. You know there’s something wrong when Apple makes more off a Spotify subscription than it does off an Apple Music subscription and doesn’t share any of that with the music industry. They want to have their cake and eat everyone else’s, too.

Spotify’s 30 million paid subscribers is currently double what Apple Music boasts. Considering how quickly Apple Music is gaining new subscribers, it could overtake Spotify by its second anniversary.

Next up: Warren on Amazon and Google

12 Comments Add a comment

  1. Hm . . . she is really missing the point, methinks. I don’t know that any of those things represent actual threats – the areas that Silicon Valley is presenting legitimately concerning behavior seem to be beyond her grasp. I’d list Google, Facebook, Amazon, even Tesla Far as companies that are actively engaged in corruptive and unethical practices, to the point of infiltrating the White House. Is everyone in Washington completely 21st century illiterate, or is this just posturing (recalling that it is rumored Warren is possibly vying for the VP position on the Clinton ticket)? Moreover, Apple is the only company that I’m aware of that is actually taking a public stand against those other companies’ business models and presenting us with an alternative.

    There are much, much bigger fish to fry, Senator. I remember the good old days when you seemed to care about average Americans and went after Wall Street and the banks. You seem to fail to realize Silicon Valley (not to mention the billionaires that built their fortunes there and insist on sticking their noses into all kinds of areas of American society they have no business being in, largely without repercussions) have more or less supplanted them!

  2. furbies

    Is it possible that Senator Warren is trying to woo voters that have been attracted to the policy spoutings from Mr Trump ?

    In other news, it’s not as if Google, Facebook & Apple have the monopoly on their respective areas of business.
    If someone comes up with a better smart phone, social network or search engine, they’ll attract punters away from the incumbent.

  3. skipaq

    Senator Warren has no great love for capitalism. Her comments on these tech giants is in keeping with her stand against Wall Street. Her politics are more closely associated with the self styled socialist Bernie Sanders. She did not come out in support of Clinton, who is well known and supported by Wall Street, until the end of the primaries. This is seen as either political opportunism or pragmatism.

    Her comments are not in line with Trump’s. He has criticized Apple for outsourcing and failing to assist law enforcement in certain ways. It is hard to imagine Trump being critical of these tech companies for heavy handed dealings against their competitors.

    Neither Clinton nor Trump offers much to someone like myself who prefers more of a libertarian approach to governance. Warren on the other hand would be a nightmare.

  4. And how do we quote, boldface, link, and such on an iOS device?

    @Lee Dronick, the formatting tools should work on iOS devices. You use them as “toggles” tap once to start the formatting, type what you need, and then tap again to end the formatting.

  5. Bronco46

    In reply to skipaq: “Senator Warren has no great love for capitalism.” That’s a huge understatement. She’s a raving socialist. That won’t be happy until your paycheck,
    no matter what company, comes through the government first. So, they can get
    90% and you get 10%. In her world your earnings are not yours. They’re revenue
    for the government to spend.

Add a Comment

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter, Facebook) or Register for a TMO Account