“One of the questions routinely faced by government regulators and consumer advocates is whether a company can get so big that it starts acting against its own customers’ interests,” Michael Hiltzik writes for The Los Angeles Times. “Amazon, which says it is about to ban from its shelves media-streaming devices from Google and Apple that compete with its own products, appears determined to show that the answer is yes. ”
“Amazon asserts that it’s taking action against Apple TV and Chromecast because the devices are incompatible with Prime Video,” Hiltzik writes. “This is a transparent dodge. There’s nothing about the technology of the Apple and Google devices that prevents them from “interacting” with Amazon Prime; the problem is that Amazon hasn’t reached agreements with Apple and Google to stream Prime media over their devices, most likely because Amazon objects to paying Apple and Google a piece of its subscription and on-demand revenue.”
“It’s doubtful that Amazon’s move rises to the level of an antitrust violation, since the banned products remain widely available. Apple owns nearly 300 stores in the U.S. alone, and Google sells Chromecast through other retailers and online. Both offer their products online,” Hiltzik writes. “What should concern customers is the evolution of what’s commonly viewed as an impartial marketer of others’ goods into a marketing arm of a corporation that already dominates eCommerce. Amazon has reached that point by stressing customer service; having established its primacy, it’s moving to cram its proprietary choices down its own customers’ throats. This is the threat always posed by latent monopolists. Their behavior appears benign as they build toward a monopoly; once they’ve achieved it, they squeeze their advantage ruthlessly.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Amazon. “The Everything Store” where you can’t get everything.
Obviously, Bezos hopes to get Apple to lower their 30% take to offer Amazon Prime video on Apple TV. We’ll see how well that goes.
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