Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Apple, too

“Sen. Elizabeth Warren didn’t forget about Apple Inc.,” Mike Murphy writes for MarketWatch. “When the Massachusetts Democrat and presidential candidate laid out her plan Friday to break up big tech companies that she said stifle competition, she focused on Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Inc. — but did not mention Apple. On Saturday, however, she made it clear that the iPhone maker was in her cross-hairs as well.”

“In an interview with The Verge published Saturday night from the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Warren said Apple uses its market dominance to squash competition,” Murphy writes. “‘If you run a platform where others come to sell, then you don’t get to sell your own items on the platform because you have two comparative advantages,’ she said. ‘One, you’ve sucked up information about every buyer and every seller before you’ve made a decision about what you’re going to to sell. And second, you have the capacity — because you run the platform — to prefer your product over anyone else’s product. It gives an enormous comparative advantage to the platform.'”

Murphy writes, “Aside from Apple’s App Store, the plan would target holdings such as Amazon’s Marketplace and Whole Foods stores, Google’s ad exchange and Google Search, and Facebook’s WhatsApp.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s market dominance?

Bzzzt! Wrong.

Worldwide smartphone OS market share, February 2019:

• Android: 74.15%
• iOS: 23.28%

Again, it’ll be very interesting to see the breakdown of political donations out of Silicon Valley this cycle.

As for the App Store case in the U.S. Supreme Court: The U.S. Supreme Court should uphold existing legal precedent by finding in favor of Apple which is not a distributor that sells iPhone apps directly to consumers. App developers sell iPhone apps directly to consumers.

Setting aside the security implications, the Ninth Circuit decision should be overturned simply because Apple’s App Store customers are the app developers, not the app consumers.

Apple owns the shopping mall. The developers pay Apple for space within. The end customer buys their apps from the developers. Indirect purchasers of goods or services along a supply chain cannot seek remedies over antitrust claims.

See Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois.MacDailyNews, October 31, 2018

Trump administration backs Apple in U.S. Supreme Court over App Store antitrust suit – November 26, 2018
Apple defends App Store fees in U.S. Supreme Court – November 26, 2018
Apple defends App Store fees as U.S. Supreme Court weighs consumer suit – November 23, 2018
Apple wants U.S. Supreme Court to undo previous decision regarding an antitrust suit – October 31, 2018
U.S. Supreme Court will decide if Apple’s App Store is an anti-competitive monopoly – June 19, 2018
U.S. Supreme Court to consider Apple appeal in antitrust suit over App Store prices – June 18, 2018
US DOJ sides with Apple over App Store antitrust allegations in Supreme Court brief – May 10, 2018
Harris Poll: Corporate reputations can become politically polarized – February 9, 2017
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revives antitrust lawsuit against Apple – January 13, 2017
Silicon Valley donated 60 times more to Clinton than to Trump – November 7, 2016
99% of Silicon Valley’s political dollars are going to Hillary Clinton – October 25, 2016
Apple’s politics may be hurting its brand – June 29, 2016
Apple refuses to aid 2016 GOP presidential convention over Trump comments – June 18, 2016
Apple and Silicon Valley employees love Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump? Not so much – May 6, 2016
Apple among top employers of Bernie Sanders donors – April 20, 2016
Apple App Store antitrust complaint dismissed on procedural grounds by U.S. judge – August 16, 2013
Apple employees donate $15 to Obama for every $1 to Romney – July 27, 2012
Apple, other tech firm employees’ contributions favor Democrats over Republicans, Obama over Clinton – April 14, 2008
Apple CEO Steve Jobs: ‘I’m going to just stay away from all that political stuff’ – August 25, 2004


    1. First Whatever displays the kind of trolling that proves he’s a brainless political asshat uninterested in discussing the subject. Personal attacks that he initiated are now the last resort of the shrill anti-fact extreme right. Only two decades ago the right cheered as Microsoft’s browser monopoly was ended. A century before that the nation cheered as republican president Teddy Roosevelt repeatedly used the Sherman antitrust act to restore competition in the marketplace. Sadly, Firsty is a new generation of self-proclaimed conservative that only cares about making more money for his handlers, the global corporations that have established unprecedented market power and, worse, completely unfettered political and financial control over the peoples’ representatives.

      Funny how MDN attacks a US senator using global usage data. At every other turn, MDN proudly bleats how iOS is trouncing Android in the US, its profitability untouchable. Do you see a disconnect in your logic? If the US market is somehow unique, then that is a problem. A real republican doesn’t like rigged economies. Only crony capitalists do, like Firsty and his hero Donald and Donald’s handlers, the Mercers and the Putins.

    2. Your labeling only serves to protect right wing corporate welfare. Elizabeth Warren, despite her questionable claim of ethnicity, is harmless at best, and nevertheless is looking to enact policy that represents all Americans, especially the consumer.

      1. “Elizabeth Warren, despite her questionable claim of ethnicity, is harmless at best”

        Fixed it:
        Elizabeth Warren, despite her stupidity and lies, is NOT harmless. Any idiot with a vote in congress is NOT harmless.

        1. Get a grip. The senator is making outlandish promises, just like the current POTUS did. Trump had no intention of doing most of the things he promised, even simple things like posting his tax returns so everyone could see with what foreign entities he has entangled himself.

          Congress, not presidential candidates, make law. For the last 6 years of the prior administation, single party congress did nothing. Literally nothing to benefit citizens in any meaningful way.

          When the single-party DC rule started in 2017, congress did only 2 things: It packed the supreme court with extreme ideologues that would make Tucker Carlson look sane, and it voted major tax cuts for corporations and billionaires. The tax cut charade actually raised taxes for 80% of Americans:

          So now you come here to bitch about a senator that is making campaign speeches when you know damn well that no legislation is going to come of it. Finally again the US has a divided party Congress that will help ensure that extremist regulation from left or right will not be passed. The people’s government doesn’t work without compromise. If you want republican rule, move to Russia.

          Interesting that no republican is interested in responding to Warren’s proposals with any rational counterproposals. They are the lemmings of the corporations, after all.

    3. I could not agree more. AOC is the latest media sensation leftist gift that just keeps on giving. Gotta hand it to you, no one brings out the Trump/Conservative/Republican HATERS better than you, congrats!

      That said, not one negative response DISAGREED with your graphic posting. Par for the course, they only personally ATTACKED your freedom of speech…

      1. Bring out your dead!
        It’s a good thing, both ways.

        I’m still in observation mode regarding AOC, I do like anti-corporatist positions, but integrity takes time.

      2. No sir, he’s being held accountable for what he freely said. No one is putting him in jail for it.

        And I do know it’s a sore subject between us, but this isn’t a conservative. It’s TRUMP. I’ll take W any day over him.

  1. Remember when Apple wasn’t doing so good, and Mickey Dell said Apple should sell up and give the shareholders back their money — or something like that.
    Warren isn’t the first who wanted to break-up/destroy Apple.🤪

    1. Gotta love it how the political spin can change the narrative into “breaking up” a company. Nobody has proposed breaking up anything except monopolistic practices.

      Here is the actual proposal:

      “Companies with an annual global revenue of $25 billion or more and that offer to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties would be designated as “platform utilities.”

      These companies would be prohibited from owning both the platform utility and any participants on that platform. Platform utilities would be required to meet a standard of fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory dealing with users. Platform utilities would not be allowed to transfer or share data with third parties.

      For smaller companies (those with annual global revenue of between $90 million and $25 billion), their platform utilities would be required to meet the same standard of fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory dealing with users, but would not be required to structurally separate from any participant on the platform.

      To enforce these new requirements, federal regulators, State Attorneys General, or injured private parties would have the right to sue a platform utility to enjoin any conduct that violates these requirements, to disgorge any ill-gotten gains, and to be paid for losses and damages. A company found to violate these requirements would also have to pay a fine of 5 percent of annual revenue."

      In other words, Apple would have to make a slight modification to its app store: it would have to have the “Apple apps” section and a 3rd party section. And it would have to allow users the right to install from other app stores within reasonable fair use. Just like on the Mac platform.

      So stop the teen breakup drama, righties.

  2. So Apple, you think the Democrat’s party is all that good? Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a fine example of where the Democrat Party is heading. Break everything up, free everything for everyone, and no plan as to why to breakup or pay for everything.

  3. ‘If you run a platform where others come to sell, then you don’t get to sell your own items on the platform because you have two comparative advantages,” she said.

    This is certifiably nuts!!! For example, most (all?) major food chains sell their own branded items alongside products of other companies. My neighborhood Vons store, part of the Safeway company, sells it’s “O Organics” and “Signature” lines alongside similar products from others. Would loony Fauxahontas breakup Safeway too? How about Krogers, Costco, Walmart, etc, etc?

    1. Came to post this exact same thing. This sets a dangerous precedent, and there’s no telling what kind of havoc this would bring.

      The democrats need a viable contender for 2020. I know Elizabeth Warren is very far left of center on a lot of issues. She needs to pick one or two of these talking points to hit on, but still appeal to as many centrists as possible. Going after business policies like this without fully thinking them through ain’t gonna cut it.

      1. Yes. The Democrats do have fresh talent. Forget Elizabeth Warren. She is a dinosaur. Democrats should nominate Alexandria Ocasio Cortez or Ilhnan Omar. They know how to run a company like Apple. They could give proper orders. They should run as a team.

  4. I say let them do everything they want. Give them the green plan and the Pocahontas plan… do it all. Give them all the racist Muslims in Congress they want, all the utter crap for brains Ocasio types they can dig up. Republicans should just abandon government. They aren’t remotely effective anyway.

    Then let’s just sit back and watch this country collapse under the weight of mass stupidity. It will be a blast.

    New conservative hashtag:

    #whatever #okbyme

  5. Tim Cook is always saying how Apple is different from some other big tech companies, but when push comes to shove, Apple is seen as the same as those other big tech companies. No different from the rest. Tim Cook needs to stop wasting his time on the soapbox and turn Apple into a dominating tech company with no peers. Now that even Microsoft is worth more than Apple, Tim Cook should shut up and get to work on getting Apple’s value back to $1T. Another great opportunity thrown away by Apple. How does a company lose $450B in value practically overnight? Jeez. Now some woman is going to come along and push Tim Apple’s face into the mud. Pathetic. Tim is always yapping about promoting women’s rights and this is what he gets for his troubles.

  6. I don’t think the shopping mall analogy is any good. Why? Because the customer can go other places to get his products if he doesn’t like the Mall. The App store is the only Mall allowed.

    However, the issue is also building a secure platform. They can’t do that if all sorts of weird apps can be loaded onto a phone.

    That said, I think a lot of these big name Democrats are secret members of the “ReElect Trump in 2020′ committee.

    1. The customer can go other places to get his products if he doesn’t like the mall. For example: Android, which comprises 74% of the market. The App store is the only Mall allowed for iOS (outside of jailbreaking). Smartphone consumers, however, have other choices. Apple does not hold a smartphone monopoly. Not even close.

      1. You’re right, only iOS customers don’t have a choice. But still would be a Monopoly from those customer’s point of view in contrast to their Android counterparts.

      1. Are you sure you’re not confusing paying for subscriptions via the web with having a separate iOS App via the Netflix website? It is more likely Netflix has just made the iOS App in the App Store a player App w/o ability for in-App subscriptions now.

    2. Josh, I agree with your logic except “secure platform”. There is no such thing as 100% security. Apple is one breach away from being considered an untrustworthy platform. Apple doesn’t guarantee security, they market it. There is a big difference.

      If Apple isn’t ever going to guarantee user privacy and security, then why should they be allowed to run the only app store in town?

      Why is the Mac considered secure when one can install software from any vendor?

      The biggest problem with the iOS app store, besides its monopolistic power, is that it creates a community of blind faith devotees who have stopped using their own common sense to protect themselves. They think Mamma Apple will protect them. They get Facebook apps off the Apple store and can’t understand why their iPhone is full of creepy ads. Well, it’s because Apple has no interest in actually walking the talk. No monopoly ever does.

      Seems to me that there are savvy Android users that take security seriously and do the effort themselves to secure their phones from Google’s never ceasing data mining. It is possible. While that’s a lot of work, I have much more respect for those independent minded folks than the sheep that blindly believe Apple is infallible and therefore cede all app review and pricing to Apple’s profit-maximizing bean counters.

      Final thought: If Apple put your privacy first, the default iOS search engine would not be Google. But in today’s Apple, profit is more important than user protection. That is why it is better to have senators and representatives establish fair legislation to protect user data. Because Mamma Apple has proven time and time again that given the choice, profits come first.

      1. longwinded Mike makes an excellent point: why should Apple have a monopoly on ios app sales? supporters claim that Apple wouldn’t make any app store if it couldn’t have a monopoly on app sales, and that it couldn’t be a secure platform if Apple isn’t granted that monopoly.

        the very existence of the secure Mac with freedom to install any apps completely disproves the ios defense.

        i am in full support of Warren’s proposal and i haven’t heard a single valid point from the political trolls on the right to change the facts.

    1. Morgan, this is an interesting question.

      Apple’s Mac platform has both a dedicated Apple Mac store and it also allows the user the freedom to install software acquired from other vendors. The platform is considered secure. Apple gets a cut from the app sales on its store, but many leading software companies prefer to sell direct to consumers because it allows them many more options without the middle man. For example, running sales and promotions is difficult inside Apple’s famously poorly designed store. Why did Apple create the Mac App store?

      With iOS, obviously Apple wants a cut of profits from 100% of all apps sold. That would be nice, but it’s not at all clear to me how Apple earns those fat profits. It has established itself as a middle man, and it has always been this way, so the faithful assume this must be acceptable.

      I wonder what the extreme right would say if Apple, instead of pushing price escalation through subscriptions and in-app purchasing games, instead revealed their steady price creep upwards by revising advertised iOS app prices upwards 10-20% per year. Would they all rejoice and proclaim how wonderful it is that Apple can buy back more stock and issue a modest 3% additional shareholder return next year?

      Applecynic has been the only honest person on these forums calling out the iOS app store for the sham it is. The Mac platform gives users equal or better security without Apple’s monopolistic app store restricting both users and 3rd party software developers. The only reason not to allow iOS app store competition is Apple’s greed. Choice is freedom. Does the radical right not want users to have choice? They did back when they used Macs.

      1. I believe the reasoning for 30% being ‘fair’ is to support the servers and work to keep the App store secure. Unfortunately as a straight percentage it cost more for Apps priced higher. A suggestion may be to keep the 30% but cap the total to a ‘reasonable’ ceiling. Say a max of $1/unit commission to Apple for any App/in-app purchase.

        1. Prices for IT generally fall over time, substantially. Apple however never passes on its cost savings. It charges the same obscene rate for crappy iCloud as it always did, even while in the background managing cheaper deals with Google and Amazon to host user data.

          iOS app store management should be cheaper per app than at any time in history. But unlike a competitive market, the prices ARE NOT falling as costs to the supplier fall. That is further evidence of Apple slyly concealing its monopolistic power.

  7. Formerly a big fan of hers, like Most politicians, she is clueless about tech. This is a deal breaker for me. False equivalency, just ignorance. Privacy and Cable are valid concerns. Google and Facebook are untrustworthy. We have bigger issues, though…

    1. People think that she’s a Progressive after she pushed through her CPB which is Progressive but the rest of her initiatives and ideas are merely NeoLib/NeoCon.

  8. Warren declared herself to ba a Capitalist so don’t worry; Any reform introduced by her legislation will be a weak half-measure so Apple is likely safe from her bad idea.

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