CNBC’s Goldman: Apple under antitrust scrutiny? Spare me

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“Unlike Reagan and Bush, and even Clinton for that matter, in President Obama’s administration, Apple faces an increasingly activist, regulatory climate,” Jim Goldman writes for CNBC. “A victim of timing and circumstance, had Apple come of age during another administration, at another time, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion. Instead, the confluence of digital media, innovation, the consumer’s rabid appetite for all things Apple, Steve Jobs’ brush with death, and what appears to be his ‘making-up-for-lost-time/don’t-just-beat-but-destroy-the-competition’ are all sliding Apple under the microscopic lens of federal regulators. Just as there’s nothing wrong with monopolies so long as you don’t abuse them, there’s nothing wrong with a little federal scrutiny to keep companies honest as long as it doesn’t turn into a witch-hunt.”

“Which brings me to the latest flap about Apple, Adobe and reports that Apple may have run afoul of anti-trust law. If I’m to understand this, developers are angry that Apple prevents them from developing cross-platform apps by refusing to allow them to use Adobe’s Flash software,” Goldman writes.

Goldman writes, “Developers are arguing and the Feds are apparently examining whether this is an abuse of Apple’s power. Spare me. This is Apple’s marketplace-Apple’s platform. And if developer’s want to develop for the App Store, and the iPad and the iPhone and the iPod, they have to play by Apple’s rules. Some developers complain that they have to go out of their way to develop one app for Apple, and then a different version for everyone else. Too bad. Walmart sets the rules for products sold in its store. Same with Barnes & Noble. Costco. If companies don’t like it, they can sell their wares across the street. But they won’t, because they can’t ignore the Apple marketplace.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lurker_PC” for the heads up.]

46 Comments

  1. “Some developers complain that they have to go out of their way to develop one app for Apple.”

    I don’t think any developers are complaining (unless they are in Adobe’s pocket).
    The only one complaining is Adobe. Wha! We want to sell developers our tools. Apple is being mean to us because our tools won’t create the best apps for their devices. Whaaaa!

    Grow up adobe. The era of Flash is over! Get with the program.

  2. @breeze
    Get rid of the ‘as usual’ bit and I would you say, you got it too. Jim Goldman, lest a few of us may forget, just a few months ago fancied a bit of anti-Apple dance because he was ‘duped’ by his ‘internal source’ that all was well w.r.t Steve Jobs’ health.

    I’d say, if anything, Mr. Goldman is dancing his humble way back.

  3. @krquet:

    Goldman has been right about Apple 80% of the time over the last 5 years. His closest competition has been right maybe 50% of the time, and the vast majority have never had a clue. He’s the best there is in his field when it comes to Apple. Nobody gets it right every time.

  4. @krquet

    I’d much rather have someone like Mr. Goldman who seems to honestly call them as he sees them, and has the courage to change his mind and see (and think) different, over writers like Thurrott or Dvorak, whose objective – other than hitmongering – seems to be rather obscure.

  5. krquet:

    Goldman has long been a guy that uses heathy reason and fact. He’s knowledgeable and has the dignity and perspective required of a responsible journalist. He’s always stood his ground and mostly backed Apple and fought the incompetent analysts and yellow journalists that ripped it with gossip and innuendo, while providing solid fact and statistics based on historical track records. Maybe from time to time he doesn’t side entirely with Apple and gets thrown off by misleading research, but he’s never afraid to “eat his words” and admit it.

    Everybody’s shit smells, but Goldman does get Apple and its’ intrinsic value to the market place, investors, and consumers.

    It’s refreshing to see a real journalist still at work.

  6. @ericdano
    “Yup. This is another waste of time and money for the Government.”

    Perhaps you are misdirecting your scorn.

    I still have not seen one shred of evidence that anyone in the gummint has any interest in pursuing an anti-trust case against Apple.

    At this time, we can point only to some anti-Apple hacks spewing anti-Apple FUD and invoking the name of the government in doing so.

    When a governing body deserves blame, blame it.
    Until then, look very carefully at the source of this “information”.

  7. The likely focus of this scrutiny will be if the software market for the iPod/iPad/iPhone platform constitutes monopoly and if Apple had put barriers to entry into that market using their own monopoly position. The criteria required to meet the monopoly definition are fairly precise and in this case, rather high; you simply cannot use Psystar argument that ‘Macintosh’ is a separate market space from the rest of desktop computing market. Conversely, iPhone/iPod/iPad market cannot be taken separately from the rest of mobile market (which runs on Android, WebOS, Symbian, WinMob, Palm OS, etc). All these have same kind of bullet-point lists of features, and software developers build applications for all of them (more-or-less). What excuse could any jurist possibly have to segment this market further by defining iPod/iPad/iPhone market a separate and unique one, in order to declare Apple a monopolist in that market and therefore abuser of that monopoly?

    This seems to be just unfortunate timing. With the massive abuses of market freedom and lack of regulation by financial institutions, there is no surprise that many are expecting government to keep a hawk’s eye on every single large corporation (and Apple is third largest in the world, based on market value). As we all know here, it will be a waste of time in Apple’s case.

  8. Jim Goldman, I like the slant you put on this. Can we do something to keep them “across the street”? Maybe some Federal stimulus money or a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan to keep them there until those phones shrivel up and die. Or, they can hold off until the iPad killers shows up!

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