Days after lawmakers introduced “antitrust” legislation that could disrupt business practices of tech companies like Apple, Tim Cook, called Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to deliver a warning, The New York Times reports citing “five people with knowledge of the conversations.” Cook warned that the antitrust bills were rushed, would crimp innovation, and would hurt consumers by disrupting the services that power Apple devices like the iPhone.
See also: 91% of contributions by Apple employees have gone to Democrats vs. 9% to Republicans since 2004 — October 5, 2018
The calls by Mr. Cook are part of a forceful and wide-ranging pushback by the tech industry since the proposals were announced this month. Executives, lobbyists, and more than a dozen think tanks and advocacy groups paid by tech companies have swarmed Capitol offices, called and emailed lawmakers and their staff members, and written letters arguing there will be dire consequences for the industry and the country if the ideas become law.
The bills, the most sweeping set of antitrust legislation in generations, take aim at Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google by trying to undo their dominance in online commerce, advertising, media and entertainment. There are six bills in total…
Thirteen nonprofits, most of which have received funding from the tech giants, wrote a letter to lawmakers decrying two of the bills. NetChoice, one of the groups, hosted a public panel on Tuesday featuring Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah and a leading member of the Senate antitrust subcommittee, to cast skepticism on the proposals. A prominent Republican lobbyist and fund-raiser, Jeff Miller, has been trying to stanch the support for the bills within his party, reaching out to members of Congress on behalf of his tech company clients…
Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, and Mark Meadows, who was chief of staff to President Donald J. Trump, wrote in an opinion piece on Fox News’s website that the bills would give the Democratic administration more control over the tech companies. “Democrats are weaponizing legitimate Republican anger about Big Tech’s abuses to encourage Republicans to support these bills,” they wrote. “But Republicans should read the fine print.”
Ms. Pelosi pushed back on Mr. Cook’s concerns about the bills, according to two people with knowledge of the conversations. When Mr. Cook asked for a delay in the Judiciary Committee’s process of considering the bills, Ms. Pelosi pushed him to identify specific policy objections to the measures, said one of the people.
MacDailyNews Take: Early days. In the end, even though we hope for more to be applied to the real monopolists – cough, Google/Facebook, cough – these “remedies” will end up being all hat and no cattle.
Since Apple holds nothing close to a monopoly in any market in which they compete, there can be no monopoly abuse to remedy. The company cannot abuse something that simply does not exist.
Even as we attempt to move away from the ad-supported model, we back whatever remedy or remedies will introduce competition back into the online advertising business, which is broken, in part, because far too much power is concentrated with Google/Facebook. This situation is exactly why antitrust laws exist.
Imagine if your livelihood depended on one company that had not only monopolized web search (and, thereby, basically controlled how new customers find you), but also controlled the bulk of online advertising dollars which funded your business and which they could pull, simply threaten to pull, or reduce rates at any time? Now also imagine if you believe this monopolist basically stole the product of another company that is the very subject of your business? How much would you criticize the monopolist thief’s business practices?
You might guess that it would be a tough road to walk. (We’re only imagining, of course!)
That would be a good example of why monopolies are bad for everyone…
In the meantime, stop using Google search and Google products wherever possible. Monopolies are bad for everyone. — MacDailyNews, July 14, 2016
If you haven’t already, give DuckDuckGo a try! https://duckduckgo.com
With this unprecedented power, platforms have the ability to redirect into their pockets the advertising dollars that once went to newspapers and magazines. No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t. — MacDailyNews, November 9, 2017
We’d like to see real competition in the online search and advertising markets restored someday. — MacDailyNews, March 20, 2019