“The European Union intends to tighten the standards regulating the digital economy,” Leonid Bershidsky writes for Bloomberg View. “Even as internet companies change their terms of service to comply with privacy regulations that take effect next month, the European Commission published the draft of new rules governing the interaction of online platforms such as Amazon, Apple and Google with the businesses that sell through them.”
Bershidsky writes, “The proposed regulations, which aim to increase transparency and fairness, are overdue but far from sufficient.”
“Businesses are at the platforms’ mercy,” Bershidsky writes. “A marketplace owner, for example, can launch a competing product and sell it on more favorable terms than outside vendors. That’s what Spotify says Apple is doing by claiming a share of its monthly subscription fees. In return, the streaming music service sells the subscription at a higher price to iPhone users, which makes Spotify’s product more expensive than Apple Music — the platform’s own offering. In a brief sent to the European Commission last year, Spotify called for ‘imposing heightened obligations in cases where the platform operator competes downstream on the platform against its own business users.'”
“The EU would be justified in prohibiting companies that function as intermediaries from running services that compete with those of outside vendors,” Bershidsky writes. “This would mean requiring Apple to spin off Apple Music and perhaps even all of its app and content business. Google would have to get rid of its shopping-comparison engine, which earned an almost $3 billion fine last year, and all similar products (for example, for airline tickets) that compete with anything that comes up in its ‘organic’ search results. Amazon might need to spin off Marketplace (and offer its products on it on the same terms as other sellers).”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Good luck with all that, m’kay?
As per Spotify and Apple’s App Store:
Once again, these are Apple’s platforms, built from the ground up. Apple owns them. Hence, Apple can charge what they like for the use of their App Store infrastructure. Anyone who doesn’t like it, including Spotify, can go to other smartphone platforms, including one with 82.6% market share as measured by units shipped which — drumroll, please — neatly negates any and all imperiously vapid antitrust claims of Apple having a “monopoly” in smartphones. — MacDailyNews, July 15, 2016
EU proposes to regulate tech giants’ business practices following Spotify’s complaint against Apple – April 26, 2018
Apple’s App Store anti-competitive? Spotify and Elizabeth Warren think so – July 15, 2016
Elizabeth Warren accuses Apple of monopolistic-like actions; Spotify concurs – June 29, 2016