After a 16-month antitrust investigation into competitive practices at Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust on Tuesday released its findings and recommendations on how to reform laws to fit the digital age.
As a new report found that employees at Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Oracle have contributed nearly 20 times as much money to Democrat challenger Joe Biden as to republican President Donald Trump since the beginning of 2019, the Democrat-led report concludes that the four “Big Tech” companies enjoy monopoly power and suggest Congress take up changes to antitrust laws that could result in parts of their businesses being separated. Republicans have voiced objections to some of the bolder proposals in the report, like imposing structural separations.
Apple in a statement to MacRumors said that it strongly disagrees with the conclusions reached in the report in respect to Apple, and that Apple does not have dominant market share in categories where it does business.
We have always said that scrutiny is reasonable and appropriate but we vehemently disagree with the conclusions reached in this staff report with respect to Apple. Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business. From its beginnings 12 years ago with just 500 apps, we’ve built the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for users to discover and download apps and a supportive way for developers to create and sell apps globally. Hosting close to two million apps today, the App Store has delivered on that promise and met the highest standards for privacy, security and quality. The App Store has enabled new markets, new services and new products that were unimaginable a dozen years ago, and developers have been primary beneficiaries of this ecosystem. Last year in the United States alone, the App Store facilitated $138 billion in commerce with over 85% of that amount accruing solely to third-party developers. Apple’s commission rates are firmly in the mainstream of those charged by other app stores and gaming marketplaces. Competition drives innovation, and innovation has always defined us at Apple. We work tirelessly to deliver the best products to our customers, with safety and privacy at their core, and we will continue to do so.
Apple plans to provide a more in-depth refutation of the allegations levied against the company by the antitrust subcommittee in the near future.
In a new report, WIRED found that employees at Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Oracle have contributed nearly 20 times as much money to Biden as to Trump since the beginning of 2019. In the 2020 election cycle, 98.59% of Twitter employees contributed to Democrats with 1.41% contributing to Republican candidates, according to OpenSecrets.
President Trump and other Republicans often complain that Silicon Valley has an anti-conservative bias. A review of campaign finance data shows that contributions by employees at some of America’s biggest tech companies are overwhelmingly going to his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.
According to data released by the Federal Election Commission, which requires individuals who contribute $200 or more to a presidential campaign to report their employer, employees at these six companies have contributed $4,787,752 to Biden and just $239,527 to Trump.
95.76% of Apple employee contributions go to Joe Biden
Employees at Alphabet are Biden’s biggest financial backers in Silicon Valley, having donated just shy of $1.8 million, more than one-third of the money raised from employees of the six companies. An analysis by Open Secrets, a campaign finance watchdog, found that contributions from Alphabet’s employees and political action committee to the Biden campaign collectively exceed those from any other company. In fact, according to Open Secrets, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple account for five of the seven largest donors to the Biden campaign on that basis.
WIRED’s analysis shows that employees at these six companies are contributing substantially more to both nominees than during the 2016 election. Donations to the Biden campaign are nearly twice those made to Hillary Clinton’s over the same period four years ago; Trump has raised more than four times as much money from employees at the six companies.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple should not be lumped in with actual monopolist abusers like Alphabet/Google.
Again, the fact is that Apple has no monopoly in smartphones, so Apple is incapable of committing monopoly abuse.
• Android: 74.44%
• iOS: 24.98%
I don’t think anybody reasonable is going to come to the conclusion that Apple is a monopoly. Our share is much more modest. We don’t have a dominant position in any market… We are not a monopoly. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, June 2019
As for Google, the biggest offender in “Big Tech,” impose any remedies that restore competition to online search and online advertising.