Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple May Face Antitrust Inquiry

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the upsetting-the-apple-cart dept.

Government 457

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from the NY Post: "According to a person familiar with the matter, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are locked in negotiations over which of the watchdogs will begin an antitrust inquiry into Apple's new policy of requiring software developers who devise applications for devices such as the iPhone and iPad to use only Apple's programming tools. Regulators, this person said, are days away from making a decision about which agency will launch the inquiry. It will focus on whether the policy, which took effect last month, kills competition by forcing programmers to choose between developing apps that can run only on Apple gizmos or come up with apps that are platform-neutral, and can be used on a variety of operating systems, such as those from rivals Google, Microsoft, and Research In Motion. An inquiry doesn't necessarily mean action will be taken against Apple, which argues the rule is in place to ensure the quality of the apps it sells to customers. Typically, regulators initiate inquiries to determine whether a full-fledged investigation ought to be launched. If the inquiry escalates to an investigation, the agency handling the matter would issue Apple a subpoena seeking information about the policy."

cancel ×

457 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Well DUH! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32076600)

Even the fanbois have to admit this is true.
Sack up bitches and admit it.

[sigh] (2, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076604)

Interesting points:
  • Up until recently, there was *no* way to get compiled apps on the phone. You were stuck with web "apps". Apparently that was fine, but allowing apps and restricting the development language is not ?
  • Apple's policy does not (as TFA claims) require the developer to use only Apple's programming tools. It just requires the developer to use C, ObjC, or C++. There's no requirement that those tools originate from Apple.
  • 3rd-parties (like Unity) do (at first glance) appear to be screwed. Apparently, though, Apple are talking to the Unity authors, and continue to approve Unity games - this latter point could be a problem for them in fact. Monotouch were making the point that they are different to Flash, but given point 6 on Steve's creed [apple.com] , I don't see a good future for them either.
  • Most (not all) antitrust legislation is aimed at preventing monopoly exploitation of alternate markets. There is little evidence that Apple has any sort of monopoly unless the category is defined so narrowly as to be useless.
  • Users are free to choose another device if they feel that strongly about the situation. My hunch is that /. won't accurately represent the marketplace, however.
  • I still don't see why Apple aren't allowed to set the terms of participation in their program. If you sign up as an iphone/ipod/ipad developer, you know what you're getting into, and you know they can change their rules at any time. Don't come whining when you don't like it any more

Now normal service can resume, and the anyone-but-Apple brigade can froth gently at the mouth while insisting their rants are somehow not the mirror image of the "fanbois" they detest so much.

Simon.

Re:[sigh] (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076674)

PhoneGap. Now it won't work for every type of app, but it does work for 90% of the applications we do, which are just HTML/JS which is then placed inside either an Obj-C Wrapper or Android Wrapper, or WebOS wrapper, or Blackberry Wrapper, etc.. Still in Javascript and the application is still portable, but we do fine we have to make tweaks between the iPhone and Android usually. Not's not quite a write once, run everywhere type solution, but does work well when using a library like jQtouch.

Re:[sigh] (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076708)

Most (not all) antitrust legislation is aimed at preventing monopoly exploitation of alternate markets.

This falls into the "not all" category though, I think, since it's an investigation of whether Apple's engaged in anticompetitive tying. The iPhone / Apple devtools tying is somewhat reminiscent of the car-makers / car-parts antitrust investigations, which happened even though no carmaker actually held a monopoly in the car market.

I think it'd be a problem for Apple if it were possible to show (e.g. by discovering an unwise internal memo) that the main purpose of the restrictions is to restrain trade, e.g. to harm the market for competitor development tools, or to make it harder to port apps to/from Android. Apple would want to be able to show that the tying was done for legitimate reasons not related to restraining trade.

Re:[sigh] (5, Informative)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076780)

Apple does not require developers to use Apple tools, only the approved languages, which were not invented and neither are owned by Apple: Objective C, C, and C++. XCode is the IDE provided by Apple, and it uses GCC to compile the code.

You are free to use whatever you want, as long as the code is originally written in one of those languages and not ported from a different platform.

        -dZ.

Re:[sigh] (2, Informative)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076954)

False.
From the infamous section 3.3.1:

Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited.

You cannot code in Objective C, C, or C++ unless you are using Apple's proprietary APIs.

Re:[sigh] (1)

hhedeshian (1343143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077174)

False. From the infamous section 3.3.1:

Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited.

You cannot code in Objective C, C, or C++ unless you are using Apple's proprietary APIs.

What about that says you have to use Apple's API? It just says you can't use a 3rd party wrapper.

Re:[sigh] (3, Insightful)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077188)

Other way around. You can't use their APIs unless you're using ObjC, C/C++.

Re:[sigh] (2, Informative)

Altus (1034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077064)

I don't believe there are any restrictions on porting an application, you just cant use something to compile and app from one language (say, flash) to Obj-C and then submit it.

Re:[sigh] (1, Interesting)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077192)

Honestly i think it is the "not ported" part that is going to hurt them - ported to apple from another platform or the other way - one of the line items on the dev agreement is that you aren't allowed to publish the source code to programs submitted to the app store - effectively preventing all GNU projects from making it - and preventing any type of developer community out side of apple.

Re:[sigh] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32076864)

The first thing you have to prove in a tying case is that Apple has market power. This means that for the next 5 - 10 years, over priced lawyers will be paid to argue back and forth over the appropriate 'market' to consider for the iphone. Smart phones connected with Internet access? Smart phones? Cell phones? All phones? Portable computing devices? Computers?

By the time a court finally decides on the market, the entire conversation will be irrelevant. In the end, the only people who will benefit will be the lawyers.

Re:[sigh] (1, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077044)

It's funny, when its in their favor, Apple fanboys here talk about the iPhone outselling every other phone (though it's not)... they talk about it being so amazingly popular in the market, and of the huge demand...

When it's not, they say "Look around, we're just a little fish in a big pond!"...

Re:[sigh] (2, Insightful)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077166)

It's funny, when its in their favor, Apple fanboys here talk about the iPhone outselling every other phone (though it's not)... they talk about it being so amazingly popular in the market, and of the huge demand...

When it's not, they say "Look around, we're just a little fish in a big pond!"...

Huh? Where did you get that? I see nothing in the OP that makes such a statement at all. All it says is this:

The first thing you have to prove in a tying case is that Apple has market power.

He or she is saying that that is the first thing that will have to be proved, not that Apple doesn't have market power.

You need to stop letting your ideology get in the way of your reading comprehension. None of this stuff matters all that much beyond the boundaries of Slashdot.

Re:[sigh] (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32077260)

I would mod you up if I could.

Re:[sigh] (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076906)

Well, a lot of aftermarket stuff isn't supported by the original manufacturer either. I doubt you could get support from Ford after putting a Dodge engine in their chassis.

Re:[sigh] (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077300)

Definitely not, but many Ford 3/4-1 ton owners will pull their Ford engine out and put in a Cummins. (There's positive reasons for doing so, but don't expect Ford to fix anything involved with that other engine- or caused by it...)

Re:[sigh] (1)

baresi (950718) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076720)

The thing with your points is that the precedents set before (ala MS). If 'users are free' was a defense there would be little point in investigations or inquiries of this sort. The same certainly goes with 'Set the terms'. The Flash issue is may be something 'users know what they are getting into' and that depends on who those users are.

Re:[sigh] (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32076738)

I think Apple is in trouble because they decided to change their developer agreement *days* before the public unveiling of Adobe CS5. Adobe had been promoting for many months before that the new version of Flash would support export to iPhone. And Apple pulled the rug out from under them days before the release of their product. What happens if a subpoena finds an email between Apple employees suggesting the optimal time to change the licensing terms to damage Adobe (who put a lot of time and money into this feature)? IANAL

Re:[sigh] (4, Interesting)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076858)

I hadn't thought of this, and this is exactly right. I don't even think they need to find an email: this seems (perhaps illegally) anti-competitive on its face.

Re:[sigh] (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32076920)

The problem with that argument is that this is Apples hardware and platform, not Adobe. Adobe did a disservice to their developers by pushing for something that they have absolutely no control over then blame Apple when get thrown out of the party.

Now, why do you tell me how many other phones out there support Flash in its entirety? And please forget Flash lite as it only plays old Flash video files but not the games.

Re:[sigh] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32077250)

Just because it's their product, doesn't mean they get to control the market willy-nilly.

Re:[sigh] (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076802)

Up until recently, there was *no* way to get compiled apps on the phone. You were stuck with web "apps". Apparently that was fine, but allowing apps and restricting the development language is not ?

A web app though is more or less platform neutral though. The entire point of this inquiry is that when you develop an app for the iPhone you have to almost completely re-write it for every other platform discouraging developers to port to other OSes.

Most (not all) antitrust legislation is aimed at preventing monopoly exploitation of alternate markets. There is little evidence that Apple has any sort of monopoly unless the category is defined so narrowly as to be useless.

The point of the investigation is to investigate if the point of Apple's restrictions is to create more or less an app store monopoly by preventing the approval of apps that would work on multiple platforms.

For example, lets say I just made the game Zombie Attack. If I made it in a platform neutral language like what Adobe has I would be able to ship the game on PC, Mac, iPhone OS, Android, BlackBerry OS, Linux, etc. with minimal changes. On the other hand, if I wrote it for the iPhone with the iPhone SDK, I would have to completely re-write the game to get it to run on any of the other platforms.

This, in essence allows Apple with a large percentage of smartphone sales to dominate the market by effectivly "blocking" their apps from appearing in competitor's stores because of the pain it takes to recode the program.

I still don't see why Apple aren't allowed to set the terms of participation in their program. If you sign up as an iphone/ipod/ipad developer, you know what you're getting into, and you know they can change their rules at any time. Don't come whining when you don't like it any more

Because their terms of participation is blocking free competition for most users who don't jailbreak.

The problem isn't that Apple can set the terms, it is that Apple is setting the terms -only- to prevent people from coding the same app and running it other places, so Apple can have the app exclusively and keeping people tied into the iPhone rather than the cheaper, diverse and more feature filled Android, BlackBerry, and other phones.

Re:[sigh] (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076888)

Very well said. There is a lot of debate on this one due to the iPhone being a very unique platform, but it's still just another platform.

Re:[sigh] (1)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077046)

And how do you suppose you can run an XNA game on anything but Microsoft's OS?

Re:[sigh] (5, Insightful)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077148)

It seems like you're overstating the case. As an app developer I can code something for Windows, but will have to separate the API calls if I want to easily port for KDE (for instance). Assuming I write in C/C++ I can do this, with extra effort. I could also write my app in Flash so that it is portable, but I then have to accept the limitations of Flash. In this case, for the iPhone it seems to be the same situation, with the limitations for Flash being that it does not work. So I can still develop an app that I want to market for the iPhone as well as other mobile (or even desktop) environments, and the situation is no different than it has been at any time in the world of computers. That is if I want to easily port my app to different platforms I will have to abstract the platform dependant portions so that I can re-use the rest of the code directly, and have separate bits of code for the various APIs and such. While I don't necessarily agree with Apple's iPhone policies, I don't see anything anticompetitive with regards to this particular policy (you must develop only in C, C++, or objC).

Re:[sigh] (3, Insightful)

mini me (132455) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077232)

I would have to completely re-write the game to get it to run on any of the other platforms.

I am not sure that is really true. Section 3.3.1, as far as I can tell, places no restrictions on supporting code (think 3rd party libraries). What you are required to do is write any code that links against Apple's provided APIs to be originally written in C, C++, or Objective-C (hereafter known as C-family languages).

What this means to you is that you can write your program in Flash, write a compiler* to convert the Flash output to code that can be executed natively**, and write an application in the C-family language of your choosing to provide a bridge between your own APIs used by the compiled flash code and Apple's frameworks.

No matter how you slice it, if you want your compiled Flash code (or any kind of platform neutral code) to run on any device you would have to provide an intermediary between the Flash API and the platform APIs. Even before the change in license, Apple's APIs required that your language be compatible with linking against C and Objective-C frameworks. Naturally, most developers will choose to implement the necessary bridge in a C-family language. As far as developers are concerned, nothing has really changed, save a few edge cases.

* Because interpreting code is forbidden
** Required step because Adobe will no longer be releasing theirs

Re:[sigh] (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077242)

BlackberryOS still doesn't have Flash either. If you write a game in Flash, your market is limited to those platforms which support Flash. The quality of your game is also limited by the quality of the Flash implementation on that platform. Right now, there isn't a good Flash implementation on a mobile phone, and Flash on Linux is still pretty sucky.

Re:[sigh] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32077246)

The entire point of this inquiry is that when you develop an app for the iPhone you have to almost completely re-write it for every other platform discouraging developers to port to other OSes.

if you write an app for every other platform, do you now have to almost completely re-write it for iPhone?

Why develop for iPhone again?

Re:[sigh] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32076826)

Apple Fanboi Defense Force, assemble!

Re:[sigh] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32077076)

Mod parent insightful

Re:[sigh] (2, Interesting)

hhedeshian (1343143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076890)

Users are free to choose another device if they feel that strongly about the situation. My hunch is that /. won't accurately represent the marketplace, however.

One thing people tend to forget here on the dot is that Apple doesn't sell "computers" as we define it. They sell a style or rather a UI. It's like going to Casa Bonita [westword.com] ; you go there for the scenery not the food.

As much as I hate Apple, it's their right to do what they want with the device. Especially considering that you have a choice of phones to choose from. Yes, Verizon+Droid is indeed a choice. Forgetting the touch UI issues with flash, it's just too slow and Apple wants their device to be as polished and native looking as possible for the "experience".

I'll put it in Star Trek terms: If you built your house to look like the bridge of Voyager, you'd be pissed if your [insert related person here] up and installed an ugly looking "crystal" SG-Atlantis control panel.

I still don't see why Apple aren't allowed to set the terms of participation in their program. If you sign up as an iphone/ipod/ipad developer, you know what you're getting into, and you know they can change their rules at any time. Don't come whining when you don't like it any more

Yes, absolutely. The same applies for Facebook app developers too. You're programming for a closed platform, controlled by a closed company.
If you can't handle that, develop for Android.

Re:[sigh] (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077004)

They sell a style or rather a UI. It's like going to Casa Bonita; you go there for the scenery not the food.

No its different because I don't own Casa Bonita. I do own my phone.

I'll put it in Star Trek terms: If you built your house to look like the bridge of Voyager, you'd be pissed if your [insert related person here] up and installed an ugly looking "crystal" SG-Atlantis control panel.

But if I sold my house to [insert related person here] then its THEIR house. They can do what they want to it, no matter how much I find it an affront to my personal sense of aesthetics.

Re:[sigh] (4, Insightful)

mejogid (1575619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076916)

You come up with some fair points, I'm not so sure they're relevant though.
  • In a short space of time they have achieved what's approaching a mobile application monopoly, and have come up with a load of very restrictive policies to make it difficult for developers to target multiple platforms, so in this way restricted compiled apps are far more anti-competitive than open spec web apps.
  • They're not forced to use those tools - but are forced to use Apple's APIs and languages, which severely limits the ability of 3rd party IDEs to differentiate themselves. I'm not sure where to access the current version of the developer's agreement, but wouldn't be surprised if there was some sort of restriction to xcode.
  • I'd say if anything that's more abusive - selectively blocking out the competition but letting it in elsewhere when they benefit your platform. Also - point six has nothing to do with monotouch, they've added every new set of APIs within hours because they directly reference them.
  • Apple's policies ensure that if a developer wants access to their market then they're not going to be able to easily reuse that code elsewhere, handicapping other platforms that are themselves barely worth targeting because they don't benefit from multi-platform development. In that sense they could be seen as expanding a mobile application monopoly into a mobile devices monopoly.
  • Right, but Apple's policies are trying to remove viable alternatives for users interested in mobile applications.
  • Right, but that applies to pretty much any government regulation. The issue at stake here is whether the consumer would benefit from Apple's restrictions and consequent control over developers and consumers being lifted. In my opinion they would.
  • I think it really comes down to whether or not their dominance over mobile apps is sufficient to count as a monopoly - and even if it isn't currently, it could well become one with expansion into the MID market with the iPad.

Re:[sigh] (5, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077030)

Most (not all) antitrust legislation is aimed at preventing monopoly exploitation of alternate markets. There is little evidence that Apple has any sort of monopoly unless the category is defined so narrowly as to be useless.

Well, there is some prior case history on this. Back in the late 90's, MS was found guilty of exploiting a monopoly with Windows with regards to Netscape and Internet Explorer. They used their market position with Windows to push IE onto Windows Users. Never mind the fact that alternative operating systems existed. Never mind the fact that people COULD install other browsers once they installed Windows. They looked at the market space that was defined by Windows programs, and looked to see if MS was abusing that space. It's not a far fetched idea to translate that to the iPhone issue. Apple is locking off their internal market space by using what is a monopolistic hold on their operating system. The difference here, is that people CANNOT install competing software from another source than Apple. So in a sense, it is a clearer case than MS lost.

Users are free to choose another device if they feel that strongly about the situation.

And people were free to chose a different OS from Windows. Yet they still found the MS exploited a monopolistic hold on the OS to push IE. Apple clearly does have a monopolistic hold on the iPhone OS (Even stronger of one than MS did). The question is not are people free to choose another device, but are those with the device free to choose another avenue of operation (away from Apple). The average user isn't told that their phone won't run non-Apple approved apps before hand. The average user isn't told "If you don't like these policies, don't buy this phone". They are told "Check out what this phone can do!", and "Look at all these apps it can run!". Not to mention that once they buy the phone, they are locked into a multi-year contract which will cost them money to terminate. So at absolute least, if this is not an abuse of monopolistic power, it is a case of deceptive advertising. They are not presenting users with a fair and complete choice. They are showing one side of it, and then locking down the other. So yes, users are free to choose another device, but they aren't given enough information (without going out and knowing what to look for) to make that choice intelligently.

I still don't see why Apple aren't allowed to set the terms of participation in their program. If you sign up as an iphone/ipod/ipad developer, you know what you're getting into, and you know they can change their rules at any time.

Well, it's quite simple. They are allowed to set the terms of participation. However, I don't think they should be able to change their rules at any time (And/Or enforce them retroactively). If I signed up and agreed to their terms 6 months ago, I would be abiding by their rules to develop in {insert language x here} and convert to ObjC for submission. So I spend 6 months working on my application, only to be told today when I submit that it's no good because they "changed their rules". In my mind, there are few clearer examples of abuse of market position than that. It's an arbitrary rule set out do nothing but exact control (They have reasons why they did it, presumably to stick another knife in Adobe). But it does have significant collateral damage (being the developers who now have lost time because they were following the rules a month ago). And those interests do need to be protected.

Just my $0.02...

Re:[sigh] (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32077138)

Interesting points:

  • Up until recently, there was *no* way to get compiled apps on the phone. You were stuck with web "apps". Apparently that was fine, but allowing apps and restricting the development language is not ?

Not relevant.

  • Apple's policy does not (as TFA claims) require the developer to use only Apple's programming tools. It just requires the developer to use C, ObjC, or C++. There's no requirement that those tools originate from Apple.

Doublespeak.

  • 3rd-parties (like Unity) do (at first glance) appear to be screwed. Apparently, though, Apple are talking to the Unity authors, and continue to approve Unity games - this latter point could be a problem for them in fact. Monotouch were making the point that they are different to Flash, but given point 6 on Steve's creed [apple.com] , I don't see a good future for them either.

i.e. Collusion or special privilege; which is a nontrivial component of the problem and frankly not a new complaint in this domain.

  • Most (not all) antitrust legislation is aimed at preventing monopoly exploitation of alternate markets. There is little evidence that Apple has any sort of monopoly unless the category is defined so narrowly as to be useless.

This obviously belongs in the other bucket.

  • Users are free to choose another device if they feel that strongly about the situation. My hunch is that /. won't accurately represent the marketplace, however.

Not relevant.

  • I still don't see why Apple aren't allowed to set the terms of participation in their program. If you sign up as an iphone/ipod/ipad developer, you know what you're getting into, and you know they can change their rules at any time. Don't come whining when you don't like it any more

Does not compute.

Now normal service can resume, and the anyone-but-Apple brigade can froth gently at the mouth while insisting their rants are somehow not the mirror image of the "fanbois" they detest so much.

Simon.

Re:[sigh] (5, Insightful)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077304)

1) Seriously? Either you're joking or you truly are a hardcore "fanboi". And even for the phones which couldn't install software, at least they were non-discriminate about it. That's sort of what this "anti-trust" stuff is all about.

3) So what? Apple have proven that they'll screw over anyone who doesn't fit in their scheme. I don't see why we should give them any benefit for "apparently talking with Unity"

4) Anti-trust, or competition law, is to prevent anti-competitive behavior. There's a myth going round here on Slashdot that companies have to be a monopoly before they have to obey the law. But that's just fantasy.

5) The same could be said for any business or government. That still doesn't make their actions right.

6) We're discussing whether Apple has acted illegally, not whether or not it fits in their EULA.

Re:[sigh] (2, Interesting)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077354)

You are wrong to suggest that non-iProduct users are not affected by Apple's anti-competitive behavoir. - Apple just forced everyone in the US to pay 50% more for books. See /. article from last week. Apple got used to being able to charge much more then their competitors while selling music and I think they got addicted. - The web is a shared environment. As the only company with total control over a significant web connected platform, they can block any open standards they want. For example, even if Ogg was better then H264 (which it is obviously not) Apple could prevent it from becoming a web standard. MS never had that power because users can install what they want on Windows/IE. Also, 90% of the people who buy an iProduct have no idea that it is a 'competition free' zone when the buy it. One of the reasons for consumer protection is that those 90% of consumers are simply to busy to educate themselves on everything they buy. And no, anti-trust legislation is not just for monopolies. Apple has created a platform that is becoming central to the lives of many Americans but which is locked down and compeition free in a way that is quite new. This platform is really the anti-thesis of what we want in our economy (competition) and in our lives (freedom). I think it is worth a closer look.

You know... (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076616)

...I can understand where Apple is coming from, as far as wanting to maintain the quality of the programs available to its users, but that is still a thinly veiled attempt at justifying keeping their devices locked down tighter than a million dollar whore.

For a company whose users have been stereotyped as hipsters, they really love to retain control over EVERYTHING they sell.

Re:You know... (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076774)

That's just it -- they don't sell anything. Apparently, according to Apple, you are not allowed to re-sell in any way you see fit. When you own it, you cannot use it in any way you see fit. Apparently, you don't own it -- you have just licensed its use.

Re:You know... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076820)

For a company whose users have been stereotyped as hipsters, they really love to retain control over EVERYTHING they sell.

And everything works reasonably well. Took me six months to switch away from Windows and I haven't looked back in the last five years. Apple must be doing something right.

Re:You know... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076856)

There's also very little crime in a facist country run with an iron fist, and there is (in theory) no inequality within communisim...that doesn't make it a good idea.

Re:You know... (4, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076956)

There's also very little crime in a facist country run with an iron fist, and there is (in theory) no inequality within communisim...that doesn't make it a good idea.

But the trains run on time. And let's face it, the Nazis had the cooolest uniforms. If they'd worn black turtlenecks we'd be calling it "The Insanely Great Third Reich"......

Re:You know... (2, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077230)

And I spent a year on OS X, and am now running Windows 7 and haven't looked back. Apple must be doing something wrong.

Not sure the point you're trying to make ...

May I be the first to say (0, Troll)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076622)

I hope they roast Apple's fruity little ass with the biggest legal flamethrower they have stuck aside.

Maybe something will come of this, maybe it won't, but here's to hoping.

At least we can finally get an answer one way or another for the fanbois who keep saying "It's their platform, they can do what they want." - because in reality, that's not the case. There are lines that you cannot legally cross, and Apple very well may have done so.

Re:May I be the first to say (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076794)

I hope they roast Apple's fruity little ass with the biggest legal flamethrower they have stuck aside.

No, you don't. Consequences for them could also mean consequences for the product you like.

Maybe something will come of this, maybe it won't, but here's to hoping.

The 'good' you want to happen could mean Android has less of an edge to compete with them. Apple's "walled garden" is an opportunity for something more open to sneak in.

There are lines that you cannot legally cross, and Apple very well may have done so.

Only if you dislike Apple. Take that away and then obvious questions come up like "Is Nintendo next?"

Re:May I be the first to say (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077252)

Troll? Really? Whose feelings did I hurt?

I'm no fanboy... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077092)

At least we can finally get an answer one way or another for the fanbois who keep saying "It's their platform, they can do what they want." - because in reality, that's not the case.

but in reality is *is* the case. They developed it, they can market/sell it as they see fit. The fact that people are throwing around the word "antitrust' or "monopoly" is rather ridiculous. There is still plenty of choice. Just because someone chooses to buy into the Apple brand doesn't mean they have to stay in it. Hell, it's not even difficult to leave if you want something different - on any of their platforms, be it computer or phone.

Everything they produce has something comparable (or better, in some cases) in the market. And before you go saying the iPad is unique in the market it's not. There are already options out there.

Re:I'm no fanboy... (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077346)

Exactly. It's like actively seeking a rock of crack and then blaming the dealer for your being hooked. The pusher didn't force that crackipipe into anybody's mouth, and nobody stole 300 bucks from anyone's wallet while shoving an iPhone in their hand.

As a layman, I'm puzzled why regulators are just now going after Apple's app dev process instead of something like their requiring* iTunes to interface with their stuff*. There's a car analogy above that says that one loses support for aftermarket parts. Fair enough, but at least they still allow the "owner" to change the battery.

* So iTunes isn't the only solution now, after hacks and reverse-engineering, but would it have been so hard to just support mass-storage protocol like everybody else does? That would be a good example of Just Works(TM)

Re:May I be the first to say (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077216)

I hope they roast Apple's fruity little ass with the biggest legal flamethrower they have stuck aside.

Why?

fanbois

Ah: Haters gonna hate.

Re:May I be the first to say (2, Insightful)

cbreak (1575875) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077236)

Probably not. It's the "Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission", not the EU.

Re:May I be the first to say (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077336)

So if Apple gets the screws put to them, should Nintendo be next? Their system is even more closed than Apple's. How about Sony, with the PS3? Or Microsoft, with the Xbox?

I luvs me some Apple (0, Redundant)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076624)

But inquire away! They've been uppity lately.

Damn you George Bush! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32076628)

This would never have happened if Obama had been elected president!

They don't even have the most popular smart phone (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076638)

IANAL, so, someone please tell me-- Don't you have to have at least a majority in the product to have an anti-trust law suit win against you?!

Re:They don't even have the most popular smart pho (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076696)

Apple has it. They have a legal monopoly on the market of mobile apps.

Re:They don't even have the most popular smart pho (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076872)

Apple has it. They have a legal monopoly on the market of mobile apps.

They do? When did the Android Market close down?

Re:They don't even have the most popular smart pho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32077090)

Apple has it. They have a legal monopoly on the market of mobile apps.

They do? When did the Android Market close down?

You don't have to have a lack of alternatives to have a monopoly market share (like fx Windows vs Linux and Mac), and Apple have something like 85-90% of the app market right now. That said, I don't agree with the antitrust involvment in any of these recent tech cases, including Windows N and IE ballot screen. They are not necessary, you can clearly see alternatives succeding (though just not complaint filer Opera in case of browsers).

Re:They don't even have the most popular smart pho (0, Offtopic)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076874)

Exactly! That's what's so insidious about Apple! They are the only company that makes iPhones. If you want an iPhone, you HAVE to go to Apple! They won't let Microsoft or Google make iPhones so they hold all the cards! It's a monopoly!

Re:They don't even have the most popular smart pho (1)

Mike Rice (626857) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076968)

Those Monopolistic Bastards!
I demand my Microsoft iPhone...

Re:They don't even have the most popular smart pho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32076994)

Are you going to argue that Apple doesn't have a de-facto monopoly in online music sales and in portable media players? Really?

Re:They don't even have the most popular smart pho (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076936)

Depends on the kind of antitrust suit. Certainly you can't be guilty of monopoly leveraging unless you have a monopoly, so you're right as far as that goes. =] And it's also true that that's generally the easiest kind of antitrust claim to prove (it's what Microsoft was accused of), because there's a very strong presumption that if: 1. you're a monopoly; and 2. you're leveraging it; then that's bad, regardless of what "legitimate reasons" you have for doing so. (It used to even be considered always illegal to leverage a monopoly, but recent Supreme Court decisions have chipped away at that.)

There are other kinds of anticompetitive trade practices, though, with lower threshholds. At the one end of the scale is being a monopoly, where your conduct is closely scrutinized; at the other end is being a tiny player, whose market power is so small that any claim you were engaged in anticompetitive behavior is implausible. But in between there's a whole area of restraint-of-trade and anticompetitive tying, where you can be guilty of an antitrust violation without being a monopoly, if you have sufficient market power to influence another market improperly, and you did in fact do so. For example, some car manufacturers lost antitrust cases relating to car parts, despite not having a monopoly on automobiles: courts found that e.g. Mercedes banning anyone from making Mercedes-compatible parts was anticompetitive tying between the car market and the replacement-parts market, even though Mercedes isn't a car monopoly.

Those kinds of cases often come down to what the intent of the tying was. Mercedes argued that they wanted to control the replacement-parts market not for anticompetitive reasons, but for quality-assurance reasons; the courts ended up not buying that. But often courts do buy arguments that there was a legitimate reason for tying (possibly even most of the time; non-monopoly tying prosecutions succeeding isn't that common). In Apple's case, they would presumably argue that the purpose of requiring XCode and certain languages isn't mainly to restrain trade in dev-tools markets or to make it harder to port apps, but because of reasons related to its app-review process ("it's easier to review apps if they're all in Obj-C on XCode" or something). I could see a court giving reasonable deference to that, though predictions are always dodgy. The main place I could see that failing is if there's some smoking-gun email that ends up as evidence, where a VP or someone says, "hey we should institute this new requirement because of [reasons that sound like restraint of trade]".

Re:They don't even have the most popular smart pho (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077018)

All Apple needs to do to avoid this is publish performance and stability guidelines that can only be met by Objective-C or C++ code...

Re:They don't even have the most popular smart pho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32077020)

Not ALL antitrust laws are anti monopoly, although the vast majority are. this is still not even an inquiry yet, and inquiries against non monopolies for anti competitive practices really aren't that uncommon.

Tying (1)

crumbz (41803) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076652)

The only claim I see the Feds have for antitrust is for Apple "tying" disparate products, hardware and apps, similar to the issue in U.S. v. Microsoft (o.s. and browser). However, given Apple has only about 25% of the market share in the smart phone arena, I do not see the basis for the Feds action. The development platform only lock for Apple products strikes me as failing to meet the antitrust standard.

Re:Tying (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076732)

It is possible - just a possibility, you'll note - that you have somewhat less expertise in antitrust law than the antitrust prosecutors do.

Re:Tying (2, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076966)

Yes, this isn't really an antitrust issue. The iPhone/iPod/iPad do not have an exclusive in any market area, and it's really easy to find alternatives if you don't like what Apple is doing with their lock-in.

The Nokia 5800, for example, is nearly as good as the iPhone in many ways, and is better in others. Around $250 can get you an unlocked phone (no contract required) with WiFi (so you could skip the data plan if you wanted to) and qualifies you for the AT&T $15 data plan instead of the $30 one the iPhone requires if you decide you want data on the go. Plus it's got a 3 megapixel camera, a second camera on the front for video conferencing, and the usual things you expect in a phone like a replaceable battery, mass-storage support, upgradeable memory, etc.

The point is not to directly compare the two handsets as much as to demonstrate a specific example of why Apple does not have an exclusive lock-in on the touchscreen smartphone market. Blackberry and many other companies have their own entries in the ring, many of them are very capable units, and all of them except Apple currently allow pretty open development policies. So if openness is a criteria for you, Apple isn't the right answer for you. If you like the way Apple is doing things, then there's an Apple for that. You have a choice, therefore antitrust law should not apply.

If and when Apple exceeds 80% smartphone market share, is required in order to perform some function that no other device can replace, and/or starts telling developers that they cannot port the same product they submit to Apple to any other platform, then we'll talk about "Antitrust". But I don't see any of that happening any time soon.

As it stands, from what I can see, Apple is just nannying their users and annoying their developers, which (IMHO) is bad for their product and bad for their brand, but is their decision to make since there are plenty of other (arguably better, though that depends on your priorities and personal preferences) smartphones on the market.

i have a question. (0, Troll)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076686)

Which other phone brand in the market supports iphone apps? Why the fuck should apple support other platforms then? If apple is supposed to support all languages, this rule must be imposed on all manufacturers.

Re:i have a question. (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076790)

I don't think the problem is "supporting all languages", the Objective-C / C++ / Javascript IMHO isn't action worthy.

The problem is that the code must ORIGINALLY be written in those languages, no tool generating the code allowed.

Re:i have a question. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076836)

Which phone brand specifically disallows them? I'm sure if you came up with an emulator of sorts Google wouldn't give two shits if you put it on the Android app store.

It's not a matter of "supporting" something. It's a matter of them ACTIVELY PREVENTING it.

Even though in example it IS required to accommodate them, you can kind of relate it to a store either a) failing to install handicapped ramps, compared to b) clubing any handicapped person that tried to enter and throwing them back down the steps.

Which is worse? An active prevention is worlds away from passively not supporting something.

Re:i have a question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32076918)

Which other phone brand in the market supports iphone apps? Why the fuck should apple support other platforms then? If apple is supposed to support all languages, this rule must be imposed on all manufacturers.

You might be joking, if so wooosh on me, but nobody is claiming Apple should support all languages or other platforms. What Apple have done is banning multiplatform development tools (non-native API/intermediate layers) even though they produce valid code for Apples phone platform, to a) according to Steve Jobs improve quality, or b) according to critics block development of apps for competing platforms because devs will target iPhone first with its massive dominans of the app market, and now they are prohibited from at the same time targeting Android, Flash, etc. with the same code. This is a quite unusal ban, I don't think any software platform have ever seen anything like it, but would be happy to be proved wrong on that.

Re:i have a question. (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077128)

My understanding is that Apple is taking steps to disallow apps that would otherwise run just fine. For all the polish of the iPhone, it is simply a microprocessor and a screen. If a developer wants to write a program that the Apple processor can handle, why is Apple going to tell the developer that they aren't allowed to do so?

I would hope that Apple has the legal ground to deny apps. If people aren't happy with the Apple experience then they can go find another one. I just hope that those people who decide to choose Apple over other products won't bitch and whine other vendors don't support Apple's program. For example, I work in IT. In the last couple years it has gotten easier to get OSX to talk to non-Apple servers, but for the last two decades, putting an Apple workstation on a network required a whole separate set of network protocols, printing protocols, file sharing protocols and the like. The Apple folks wanted to do things the Apple way, but they also expected to be treated equally.

Steve Jobs seems to have some mental issues. As soon as his products start to lose their exclusive status and get to the point where interoperability is happening, he steps in and issues decrees and establishes mandates that go against wide spread acceptance.

Android is Apple's... Apple (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076710)

At this point the not quite stiff but still present competition from other OSes like Android will probably prevent any real inquiry from going forward.

Far more concerning is this push by Apple, quickly being followed by MS, to deny user-replaceable local storage and locally-loaded software. I'd hate to see the whole industry go that way.

Re:Android is Apple's... Apple (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077208)

I somehow doubt that, though maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part. I don't think there's a vested interest in locking you into their specific "cloud" like Apple or Microsoft might have.

Nokia and many of the big players in the phone market don't seem to want to get into the full-time job of hosted apps. They sell feature phones, not "integrated user experiences". Even Blackberry is into selling feature phones with one really locked in preloaded corporate feature (BES and security) but allowing a lot of openness in the areas that they don't really want to control.

My feeling (or maybe it's just a hope) is that this won't change anytime soon. Apple and Microsoft will sell units because people want an integrated, controlled, generally reliable experience within a set of defined boundaries. Blackberry will sell units because businesses need security for their data and no one does it nearly as well as RIM. Nokia will sell units because there are people who want feature phones that they can play with.

The only real oddball here is Google. Frankly, their decision to use an open source platform surprised me. They have the "World's Greatest Cloud" and the most vested interest in locking the crap out of handsets and subsidizing them to get them into user's hands so they can collect lots of juicy data and sell lots of demographics and ads. Maybe they'll just make their offerings on their own phone so attractive that most people will just go with them, but sell plenty of units to modders who want to play around with them too. It seems to me that they have the least defined model - "people who love control over their hardware but trust Google." ;)

same ol' same ol' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32076730)

At the heart of the matter, it's Apple saying if you want the most exposure to the largest mobile application market ($$$), then you will limit what you program with to make it more difficult (potentially lost time and money) to port the application to non Apple devices.

Add The Continental-United Airlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32076736)

merger to your anti-trust INQUIRY.

Yours In Apsheronsk,
Kilgore Trout

I'm not sure what the point is? (2, Insightful)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076768)

I am not at all fond of Apple's "use only our tools" stance, however I'm wondering exactly how they define anti-trust in this case? I understand that Apple is dictating devs to use their toolset, but how does this kill competitoin? Apple doesn't say you can ONLY develop for iPhone, they simply say to use X-Code for iPhone dev. Is it because Apple has a "monopoly" on their own products? Does the DoJ like Flash? Seriously, I can get that people are pissed off at Apple, but if you don't want to play, don't. Apple does not have a monopoly on touch screen phones, or tablet like devices, not by a long shot, and I fail to see how Apple telling it's developers that they need to use Apple tools as an anti-trust issue. Next we're going to hear from the DoJ that Apple is being investigated because OS X is only licensed for Macs? Maybe they will force Microsoft to develop Office for Linux, because I like Office and dammit I should be able to run Office on my Ubuntu machine. MS is forcing me to buy Windows or a Mac to run Office and that is anti-competitive behavior. Maybe the FTC and the DoJ should focus a little more on why we had to bail out the banks and Wall street and on how the behavior on their part hasn't changed very much. Or maybe Steve Jobs should buddy up with those guys and pay them a little more?

Re:I'm not sure what the point is? (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076944)

and before anyone gets pedantic, yes, I know that you don't actually have to use x-code, but x-code is free with OS X and not that bad, so I assume that most c programming for iPhone would probably be done in x-code. I could be wrong.

Re:I'm not sure what the point is? (1)

obarel (670863) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077114)

I can see how it stops competition. After all, never in the history of computing was there a platform where developers couldn't use the tools of their choice. You need a license from Sony to publish a game, but if I want to hand-code the game in machine code, there's nothing stopping me. If I like assembly language and I write my own assember - so be it. If I have an Ocaml cross compiler - fine. As long as it does the job and reaches the quality measures of the platform. This is the first platform where I'm not allowed to use my own macro assembler or my own port of Ocaml to write an app. So this stops other companies from offering their own tools to the developers. This would be (in a bad car analogy) like Ford saying that if you clean your car with clearing products that were not provided by Ford, you lose your warranty. It does hurt competition.

However, I agree that the proper way to fight these sort of things is just not to play the game. Don't develop for this platform. Just stay away and kill it not by fighting it in court, but by saying "it's just not worth it - cross platform development is much more profitable. See you!"

Re:I'm not sure what the point is? (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077176)

Why do they say to use Xcode for iPhone development? They say it is "to improve the experience". It may. But there are other tools out there quite capable of generating iPhone-compatible code. This just ever-so-handily happens to mean that for the most part, if you want your application to run on multiple platforms, well, shit, you have to write an iPhone version, AND another, because well, Jobs feels that although it is absolutely possible, it wouldn't be the same "experience", because it might take other development platforms a little longer to make iPhone-specific functionality available (it might not, too, but hey, we can't be too careful!)...

I guess I'll comment if/when there is an inquiry (1)

alfredos (1694270) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076796)

The hype surrounding all things Apple is getting to weird new heights...

This is why Apple needs power (2, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076842)

But many OHA members are developing proprietary user experiences, which they are not contributing back into to Android—as is standard for open source projects—for fear of losing competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Your choice:

Apple's Brave New World where proprietary is done right and trains run on time vs. everyone else's scattered proprietary banana republics where trains barely run at all and each has a different gauge of track.

I'll take walled garden built in Cupertino that keeps out the chaotic evildoers from Taiwan.

Re:This is why Apple needs power (4, Funny)

Massacrifice (249974) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076988)

So this is what it comes down to?

Apple : Lawful Good (self-righteous)
Google : Chaotic Good (for now)
Taiwan Mfg : Chaotic Neutral
Microsoft : Neutral Evil (of course!)
SCO : Chaotic Evil

Re:This is why Apple needs power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32077202)

Yeah, Apple tried this before (in 1984) and got bent over by IBM + clone manufacturers in the same way. What makes you think your walled garden won't collapse in on you this time?

Let's not forget mind control (2, Interesting)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076854)

After all, it's how the RDF makes fanbois out of everybody who comes too close to His Jobsness.
Who is going to investigate that?

It makes sense (0, Offtopic)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076860)

Apple is the new Microsoft, after all.

Re:It makes sense (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077364)

Apple is the new Microsoft, after all.

False. And I wish people would stop stealing my meme. Adobe is now and will always be the new Microsoft, while Google is the old Apple, and Apple is the Tyrell Corporation. Think about it.

It will save apple a lot of money (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076884)

if apple went ahead with that policy, and tried to practice it, Eu would eventually bitchslap them into changing it. And what Eu does is nothing like what FTC does - When microsoft tried to stall compliance with Eu's decision, Eu started fining them 500,000 Euros a day. Suddenly microsoft managed to come up with a compliance plan that was implementable in acceptable time. Now we have ballot boxes in ms oses sold in europe.

FTC would be way too soft on american corporations, due to the lobbyism plague there is in america.

apple should thank ftc.

Re:It will save apple a lot of money (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077060)

And the EU Commission of the European Communities doesn't go after European companies, just like the FTC can be too soft on American companies.

Now if the NHTSA had been able to fine Toyota 13 billion dollars, wouldn't that have started something?

Re:It will save apple a lot of money (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077158)

When microsoft tried to stall compliance with Eu's decision, Eu started fining them 500,000 Euros a day. Suddenly microsoft managed to come up with a compliance plan that was implementable in acceptable time.

Well, yeah... It's not that they *suddenly* found a way to do it; it's that it wasn't economical. But the economics change when there are significant penalties involved with inaction. You can hire a lot of very skilled programmers for far less than $500k/day.

Imagine Microsoft doing that (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076922)

Imagine only executables signed by MS's toolchain were executable on Win 8.

Or only binaries signed with Linus's or RMS's private key on 2.6.33 :)

Re:Imagine Microsoft doing that (1, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077032)

Your analogy is suggesting operating systems - Apple does not sign apps to run on OS X.

A more accurate description would be "imagine MS controlling what apps and what developer environment was used for mobile Windows"... oh wait, they do.

Re:Imagine Microsoft doing that (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32077222)

Your analogy is suggesting operating systems - Apple does not sign apps to run on OS X.

A more accurate description would be "imagine MS controlling what apps and what developer environment was used for mobile Windows"... oh wait, they do.

No, they don't! Microsoft is doing nothing like what Apple is doing here. If your multiplatform app dev tool spits out versions of your app compiled for Windows Mobile, Android and iPhone - only Apple will ban it.

Reuters also reporting this... (1)

bwintx (813768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076928)

Link [reuters.com] .
i.e., Not coming from just the New York Post.

Not that anyone will read this before posting, but (5, Informative)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076938)

Inquiry != prosecution.

The point of an inquiry is to determine whether there is a basis for an anti-trust case or not.

There isn't some pre-inquiry inquiry to decide if the company has enough market share or has behaved in ways that violate anti-trust laws, so there's no point in crying about how Apple doesn't meet the criteria for an anti-trust case.

Re:Not that anyone will read this before posting, (2, Informative)

DrScotsman (857078) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077244)

Not that anyone will read this before posting, but

Inquiry != prosecution.

Not that you read the summary before posting...

An inquiry doesn't necessarily mean action will be taken against Apple

Look at the mac os x hardware lock in as well! (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32076984)

Look at the mac os x hardware lock in as well!

also the ATT I-phone lock in as well.

I think apple should at least make it free to put free apps in the app store with no $99 /year fee.

Also the apple app store censorship needs to go away as well.

Misses the mark a bit (1)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077000)

"It will focus on whether the policy, which took effect last month, kills competition." Huh? Everything about the iProducts kills compeition. For Apple, killing competition (along with good ads) is pretty much their core competenacy. I'm not sure whether this is really something that the FTC should be investigating, but if they are going to do so, they need to widen the net and look at all the unprecedent ways that Apple uses its lock-down of the iProducts to block competition. Why limit it to just this latest trick? Again, I'm not certain that they should be doing this, but it sure would be nice if they could force Apple to stop using their control of the AppStore against their own users. We could have Google Voice, Mozilla Firefox, Ogg codecs, cheaper music, books, and videos, and even some competitors to Playboy if they want to keep Playboy around.

Whoa nellie! (5, Funny)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077068)

Let's not be too drastic with these inquiries. Apple might get mad and move all its manufacturing jobs to China or something.

Stupid (1)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 4 years ago | (#32077358)

Because you are too stupid to buy a cell phone, but you're not stupid enough to vote.

25% Market Share = Monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32077376)

Doing a quick search I found that Apple had 25% of the smartphone market in December 2009. How can you have an antitrust investigation against a company that doesn't have anything close to a monopoly?

I'm no Apple fanboy (in fact I've never owned a single Apple product) so I'm not saying this based on some sort of bias. It just seems absurd to me.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?