Apple CEO Cook: Monopolies aren’t bad if they aren’t abused

Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended the existence of monopolies in business, saying that “a monopoly by itself isn’t bad if it’s not abused.”

Charlie Wood for Business Insider:

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended the existence of monopolies in business, while also denying that Apple has a monopoly in any sector.

In an interview with Nikkei Asian Review in Tokyo on Wednesday, during which Cook discussed a range of topics including Apple’s treatment of competitors, he said: “A monopoly by itself isn’t bad if it’s not abused.”

“The question for those companies is, do they abuse it? And that is for regulators to decide, not for me to decide.”

Cook insisted Apple itself is not a monopoly – a line he has maintained for the duration of his tenure…

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Cook is right, as that’s the law. Monopoly abuse is what’s to be corrected, not the existence of a monopoly, as we’ve said more times than we can count over many, many years:

Achieving a monopoly is legal. It’s monopoly abuse that is illegal.MacDailyNews, August 12, 2005

A monopoly… is legal. It’s monopoly abuse that’s illegal. — MacDailyNews, January 3, 2008

Monopolies are legal unless abused. — MacDailyNews, May 10, 2010

Monopolies are legal. Monopoly abuse is not. — MacDailyNews, July 20, 2017

Since Apple does not have a monopoly in any market in which they participate, there is no legal basis for action against Apple Inc.

In the case of Apple, there is no monopoly (which is legal by the way), much less monopoly abuse (which is explicitly impossible given the nonexistence of a monopoly). You cannot abuse a monopoly when you do not have a monopoly to begin with.MacDailyNews, October 16, 2019


    1. Don’t disagree but I would say it doesn’t matter who says it, it’s something that a great many people do not want to hear and will disagree with because it doesn’t fit their notion of a monopoly… that a monopoly is bad, period. Generally speaking, people whose politics lean mid to far left.

  1. Monopolies being wrong or not depends on the definition of “bad.”

    Monopolies tend to stifle competition, which is where innovation is typically found. This is bad for everyone, including the monopoly.

    Monopolies’ lack of competition tends not to force down the cost of products. This is bad for the consumer.

    Government resignation of monopolies also tends to be a bad thing in a free economic society. Remember the cost of a long-distance phone call before the breakup of AT&T? A case can be made that AT&T didn’t abuse their monopoly; it was government regulations that stymied both innovation and set cost for AT&T.

    Sadly, the word monopoly is applied loosely. Apple’s total control over their product isn’t a monopoly. A monopoly would be if Apple unfairly kept other companies from making phones, tablets, or computers. This isn’t happening.

    Also, having a significant market share doesn’t ipso facto make a monopoly. If customers can freely choose between products, it isn’t Apple’s fault that their competition makes crap. Having the most popular product because it’s better than the competition is not, by definition, a monopoly.

    Cook would be better served to defend a company’s right to total control their product and free-market forces than defending monopolies.

  2. Apple has no monopoly in anything (and no you can’t be a monopoly of your own product or store), which makes commenting on the concept/word monopoly STUPID, because what he said will be used against Apple in the end….

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.