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Apple Facing New Antitrust Investigation 241

Posted by timothy
from the depends-who-you-trust-in-the-first-place dept.
mantis2009 writes "After recent complaints of anti-competitive behavior, the US Department of Justice has opened an inquiry into Apple's business practices for selling music. Investigators have specifically asked whether Apple colluded with record labels to thwart Amazon.com's music download store, according to the ever-present anonymous 'people briefed on the situation.' Allegedly, Apple threatened to retaliate if any music label participated in Amazon's 'MP3 Daily Deal' promotion, which offered early access to some MP3 tracks." So it looks like the Justice Department won the DoJ vs. FTC fight for the regulation bully pulpit.
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Apple Facing New Antitrust Investigation

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  • Maybe (Score:2, Informative)

    by Space cowboy (13680) * on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @04:09PM (#32353324) Journal
    Today wasn't the best day to become the highest-valued IT company in the world - edging out MSFT [google.com] (219.18B) by having a market cap [google.com] of 222.07B.

    To give an idea of the scale of that achievement, Apple's share price has climbed about 560% in the past five years. Microsoft's is up 4%. Sure, market cap isn't a hugely useful measure (beyond bragging rights) of the value a company brings, but the trend is an interesting one, at least for Apple shareholders

    Simon.
  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @04:28PM (#32353608)
    Because it reduces competition. If I work with software at Apple, I'm essentially barred from entering the job market at other similarly-sized corporations in the same field.

    If I'm unhappy at Apple for some reason I have to stick with them because the other companies won't hire me, not because I'm not qualified but because of my previous employer.

    If this was Burger King don't hiring former McDonalds employees, we wouldn't see the point, but when its software companies its ok?
  • by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @04:35PM (#32353716)

    I don't see why companies can't make this type of agreement

    For the same reason Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft cannot sit down and coordinate the prices of consoles, games and accessories: cartels are bad. Therefore the regulation of an oligopoly is considered okay. In a oligopsony, similar affects arise from collusion: the buyers of services gain huge price setting power, because they no longer have to out-bid one another.

  • Re:Maybe (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:08PM (#32354094)

    As a consumer, and owner of several Apple products, I find their behavior to be far monopolistic than Microsoft's ever was. (Want to run Apple software? Buy Apple hardware. Want Apple hardware? It will always be loaded with Apple software. Want to load something on your iP*? Use ITMS, etc...)

    The word you're looking for is 'proprietary' not 'monopoly'. You'll notice in the FS that it's about putting a competitor out of business as opposed to keeping people on their platform, which is what you just described.

  • by coolgeek (140561) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:20PM (#32354258) Homepage

    It's an inquiry, NOT an investigation. An inquiry may or may not lead to an investigation.

  • Re:Maybe (Score:2, Informative)

    by Space cowboy (13680) * on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:17PM (#32355644) Journal
    [sigh] Microsoft bought $150M worth of non-voting shares. Which they've since sold (at a handsome profit, although if they'd waited they'd have made more money). Apple had billions in the bank at the time, so it's hardly "keep them solvent".

    The reason wasn't altruism, either. Microsoft did it to settle a court-case (along with granting Apple access to a broad base of MS patents) because they were about to be taken to the cleaners by Apple. MS also had to promise to keep developing MS Office for 5 years. Back when Office was important to Apple, that was a big deal.

    It's always best to use facts to win arguments, rather than wishful thinking, I find.

    [sarcasm]Oh, and congratulations on figuring out the play on words in my signature. That's what I was missing - people will be able to understand it now.... [/sarcasm]. Since you clearly are a Microsoft fanboi, though, I'm surprised at your direct and honest approach. Kudos to you and your hard-on, sir.

    Simon
  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:49PM (#32356038) Journal

    Really? They used to charge manufacturers for every computer they sold whether or not it had windows, this [wikipedia.org] is a fact [wikipedia.org]. They have already said that Linux infringes on their patents, this [cnn.com] is a fact [crn.com]. Assuming they would continue to charge manufacturers or pursue lawsuits on their "intellectual property" if they weren't restrained in some way isn't FUD, it is logical deduction.

    Most people on /. are technical persons, and I wouldn't have to give them these direct links. Most people, including people like myself who actually use some Microsoft products, already have come to the same conclusion, that Microsoft has abused it's monopoly in the past and would likely do so even more if not for being partially restrained. No fear mongering needed, history speaks for itself.

  • Re:Maybe (Score:2, Informative)

    by Space cowboy (13680) * on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:24PM (#32356442) Journal

    Yeah, blah blah blah blah... sorry, I'm a techie simpleton with as much business acumen as a potato

    Yes, you do have, don't you ? Reading comprehension apparently isn't your strong suit either. If you have billions in the bank, 150 million isn't a huge amount of money. So, in small, simple words:

    Microsoft did not bail out Apple

    ... which somewhat refutes your claim to have "won" the argument in any meaningful way.

    As for "winning" by using your nice open-source operating system, look, you're barking up the wrong tree here.

    I've contributed to Linux, to gcj, to PHP, to any number of other smaller projects. I've written my own multi-tasking operating system for the 8-bit AVR, and opened up the source; I wrote a virtual memory system for the nintendo DS in the homebrew arena, and gave away the source; just because I thought it was cool, I bought an FPGA kit, designed a 32-bit CPU in verilog, tested it in the FPGA, wrote an assembler, C compiler, and linker for it, and opened up the source until I found students were cheating using the code; I wrote frameworks for the PS2 linux kit and gave them away as open-source; I set up and ran hostip.info as a community-based geolocation system, again opening up the database and website as open-source; I've been using linux since it came on root- and boot-floppies; I've written filesystems (a filesystem view of an application's database) and device-drivers ( linked up my EP2002H circuit engraver to a linux host and written gerber interpolation routines to translate to M-code.). I have in fact set up three businesses all based on Open Source, and sold two of them at great profit, then moved on to something new. I could go on, and on...

    In short, I've been there, done that, and almost all of it was open source. That which wasn't, paid the bills to fund that which was.

    Oh, and congratulations on figuring out the play on words in my signature. Thanks, it IS rather cool, isn't it.

    Not particularly. It was mind-numbingly obvious to the meanest of intelligences. You, on the other hand appear to be proud of determining it. Oh dear.

    Simon.

  • Re:Maybe (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lars T. (470328) <Lars.TraegerNO@SPAMgooglemail.com> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:02PM (#32356880) Journal

    Funny that, because their share price wasn't doing so well when Microsoft pumped money into Apple to keep them solvent just a few years ago.

    Yeah, $150 Million, when Apple only had $1.2 in cash. What a float. http://news.cnet.com/2100-1001-202143.html [cnet.com]

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