Why the anti-trust probe against Apple isn’t going to get off the ground

Apple's got nothing to worry about...

We’ve been talking about Apple a lot recently and with good cause… Apple’s had some interesting stuff going on lately. From the announcement of the latest version of its OS on the iPhone, to the success of the iPad’s launch, to the “found” next gen iPhone reported by Gizmodo and the resulting legal backlash, Apple’s been busy.

The most recent development really shouldn’t take anyone by surprise, especially after Steve Jobs’ recent verbal assault on Adobe’s Flash software. The U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have both received complaints that Apple’s new development policy and exclusion of the third party software in the iTunes store is anti-competitive. This is nothing new for Apple. They were already accused of the same type of behavior in regards to exclusive online music content in Europe.

It seems odd that Apple would be coming under fire for supposed anti-competitive behavior. Let’s keep in mind that this is the same company that almost went belly up  but tenaciously held on to their minority share of the computing market in the 90s and was the only company Bill Gates could point at and say Microsoft wasn’t a monopoly. The times, they are a’changin’.

So the USJoD and FTC will be performing investigations to see if a probe is warranted. But I can give you a few good reasons why nothing is going to come of this if we base the investigations solely on facts.

To begin, you have the iPad which has not only proven that tablet computing is feasible, it’s made other companies run back to the drawing boards to see what they can come up with to compete with the device. You could say Apple has a monopoly in this burgeoning field at this time. I’m stressing that. What they’ve actually done is got computer manufacturers moving forward and exploring tablet PCs. This is a good thing, healthy for the economy, good for moving technology forward, and driving innovation not only at Apple to stay ahead of the curve but in their competitors.

You have the iPhone. I have no doubt that this will be the most purchased phone line in the next two-three financial quarters. They’ve already surpassed the majority of their competition in the cell phone market and are on pace to even up with, and eventually surpass, RIM and its Blackberry line. But again, we see that the iPhone is driving the competition to make better, more powerful devices. It’s pushing the cellular carriers to improve their networks, it’s getting more people to buy cell phones which in turn is healthy for the economy, good for moving technology forward, etc.

The iPod. Well, yeah, there’s some argument there for the mobile entertainment market but let’s face it, nobody really seems to care who’s running the show there. Well, there is the Zune as competition… Sorry, I almost laughed myself into unconsciousness.

The point here is that to for the anti-trust accusation to stand up to scrutiny, Apple would have to be discouraging competition from creating devices or operating systems that would compete with their cell phones, media players, and tablet computers and that simply isn’t the case here. Apple says that you can play in their backyard, you just have to follow the rules in regards to their devices. And they’re proving it is possible for developers to do so and make a profit. And Steve Jobs hasn’t made up some alternate software for Flash and said that’s all that will run on the devices. He’s presented an alternate for Flash via HTML5 which is open source. He’s not making any money off of the exclusion, in fact he’s probably losing a little. There simply isn’t a monopoly here.

Keep in mind that this is conjecture on my part, an opinion based on the facts at hand. That being said, I’m fairly certain that what will come to pass is a lack of “evidence of wrongdoing” on the part of Apple.

Now if they’d just stop playing the heavy handed bully in regards to the “stolen” iPhone.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Posted By Gritskrieg

Comments are closed.