Election Day 2020 is over, but the ultimate outcome for the U.S. presidency is far from certain. Big Tech faced uncertainty, too. While supporters of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joseph Biden believe their lives will be better if their candidate wins, the same can’t be said by Big Tech.
If there’s one thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on, it’s that Big Tech needs a gut check. That could come in the form of an antitrust crackdown, an overhaul of Section 230, a law that gives internet giants broad protections from legal liability, or both. Big Tech is in trouble no matter who takes office in January.
In September, Biden campaign spokesperson Matt Hill told the Wall Street Journal that many technology giants and their executives “not only abused their power, but misled the American people, damaged our democracy, and evaded any form of responsibility.”
Trump, for his part, has many beefs with Big Tech, including what he believes is an anti-conservative bias… It’s notable that the Trump administration’s Justice Department went as far as to sue Google in October, alleging its search and search advertising businesses are illegal monopolies.
And according to Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy at Open Markets Institute, that case will continue on regardless of who occupies the White House. “The Department of Justice case against Google is an incredibly strong case. I don’t expect any change in administration to impact that case,” Hubbard told Yahoo Finance.
The antitrust scrutiny doesn’t end with Google, either. Investigators are sizing up cases against Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, as well… A revenue-sharing agreement between Apple and Google was at the heart of the recent antitrust lawsuit. While Apple wasn’t named as a defendant, that suit could hurt its bottom line if the Justice Department prevails. Meanwhile, in June, Politico reported that a group of state AGs and the Justice Department were taking steps towards launching an antitrust probe into Apple’s control over its app store, which takes a 30% cut from developers.
The DOJ and FTC are likely to keep pressing these matters no matter who wins the election.
MacDailyNews Take: Since Apple does not have a monopoly in any market in which they participate, there is no legal basis for antitrust action against Apple.
So, in Apple’s case, 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 and therefore face antitrust action when you do not have a monopoly to begin with.
Worldwide smartphone OS market share, October 2020 (via StatCounter:
• Android: 72.92%
• iOS: 26.53%
If the customers didn’t like Apple’s iOS Software License Agreement, they should have opted for a pretend iPhone from any one of a dime-a-dozen handset assemblers. Then they could have blissfully infested their fake iPhones with malware from a variety of sources.
Apple built the Mac. Apple built the iPhone. Apple built the iPad. Apple built the App Store. Apple created the most verdant ecosystem ever created for developers by far. Only the losers and those developers who can’t read and follow simple rules are whining incessantly.
If anything, Apple takes too little of a cut for all that the App Store provides developers. — MacDailyNews, June 21, 2020