Big Tech’s market dominance spurs numerous U.S. antitrust probes

The four U.S. “Big Tech” companies — Alphabet’s Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook — face an array of antitrust investigations at the federal and state level which were revealed in mid-2019.

Google breakup. Image: Google logo

Reuters:

While Democrats may be viewed as tougher on antitrust regulation, traditional Republican concerns about regulatory overreach appear to be overridden by anger over allegations that Big Tech tries to stifle conservative voices.

These are the inquiries that are underway:

Justice Department on Google: The U.S. Justice Department is expected to file a relatively narrow complaint within two weeks, which accuses Google of seeking to disadvantage rivals in search and in lucrative search advertising.

MacDailyNews Take: Ding, ding, ding! Of the four “Big Tech” companies being probed, here’s the one most in need of remedies to restore and revive the goodness of competition.

Justice Department on Apple: This probe, which was revealed in June 2019, appears to focus on Apple’s app store. Some app developers have accused Apple of introducing new products and then pushing out apps which compete with them. Apple says it seeks to have only the highest quality apps in the app store.

MacDailyNews Take: “Big Tech’s market dominance spurs numerous U.S. antitrust probes,” including, for some inexplicable reason, Apple, which dominates no market in which it competes.

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 Inc.

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