It’s Not Just Apple: Antitrust Probe Aimed at Facebook, Google, More

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It’s not just Apple anymore. A new antitrust probe launched by the House of Representatives examines Facebook, Google, and other tech giants.

“Big Tech plays a huge role in our economy and our world,” said Ranking Member Collins (R-GA). “As tech has expanded its market share, more and more questions have arisen about whether the market remains competitive. Our bipartisan look at competition in the digital markets gives us the chance to answer these questions and, if necessary, to take action. I appreciate the partnership of Chairman Nadler, Subcommittee Chairman Cicilline and Subcommittee Ranking Member Sensenbrenner on these important issues.”

Good to see that it’s a bipartisan probe.

An Inside Look at the Qualcomm Monopoly Ruling

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Timothy Lee did a nice deep dive into the 233-page Qualcomm monopoly ruling from Judge Lucy Koh. I’ve heard hot takes of the settlement between Apple and Qualcomm that suggested maybe Apple knew it was going to lose and gave up. But Judge Koh ordered Qualcomm to renegotiate with its customers.

The legal document outlines a nearly 20-year history of overcharging smartphone makers for cellular chips. Qualcomm structured its contracts with smartphone makers in ways that made it almost impossible for other chipmakers to challenge Qualcomm’s dominance. Customers who didn’t go along with Qualcomm’s one-sided terms were threatened with an abrupt and crippling loss of access to modem chips.

In her ruling, Koh ordered Qualcomm to stop threatening customers with chip cutoffs. Qualcomm must now re-negotiate all of its agreements with customers and license its patents to competitors on reasonable terms.

Should Apple Be Broken Up? Probably Not

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Apple just announced a slew of new services, so you know what that means? It’s a monopoly and should be broken up, at least according to Cale Guthrie Weissman.

In the two-hour presentation, Apple transformed from product maker to platforms and services provider; Tim Cook’s ambition is to control every aspect of its domain. And that should give many of us pause…Less than a month ago, Elizabeth Warren made headlines for her sweeping plan to break up the tech giants. Though she didn’t initially mention Apple, she later explained to the Verge that, yes, the Steve Jobs-founded company is also in her crosshairs.

I think certain tech companies need regulation, but I don’t think Apple is one of them (Yes, obviously I’m biased). The only thing Elizabeth Warren did was give reasons why no one will vote for her in 2020.

Kaspersky Lab Jumps on Apple Monopoly Bandwagon

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Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity company accused of having ties with the Kremlin, violated App Store rules and had its app removed. Now it says Apple uses its “position as platform owner and supervisor” to give itself special treatment.

From our point of view, Apple appears to be using its position as platform owner and supervisor of the sole channel for delivering apps to users of the platform to dictate terms and prevent other developers from operating on equal terms with it. As a result of the new rules, developers of parental control apps may lose some of their users and experience financial impact.

You can obviously tell I think this is hilarious. To be fair, developers getting sherlocked by Apple is a real thing, but having your app removed because it breaks the rules isn’t getting sherlocked.