Justice Department expands Apple probe

Mon, May 31, 2010

News

Throughout the 90′s and early 2000′s, Apple routinely found itself on the outside looking in. It’s marketshare was insignificant, and it was able to go about its business unabated, and unencumbered by a never-ending parade of frivolous lawsuits and Justice Department investigations. And the thing is, those two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In other words, a Justice Department investigation can easily be as frivolous as your standard money-grubbing lawsuit.

Last week, we reported that the DOJ was investigating Apple for allegedly wielding its iTunes power in an anti-competitive manner. Specifically, investigators honed in on reports that Apple told record labels that if they participated in rival Amazon’s “Daily Deal” promotion, that they would lose valuable marketing placement and promotion on iTunes.

While Apple’s iTunes does, in fact, control 70% of the online music business, it has no obligation to promote and market certain artists. In other words, Apple threatening to stop doing something that they have no obligation to do in the first place seems pretty weak from a legal perspective. After all, it’s not as if Apple is threatening to remove artists from iTunes altogether. But that’s a discussion for another time.

The NY Post is now reporting that the Justice Department is expanding its probe of Apple into areas beyond music.

According to several sources, the Justice Dept. has contacted a handful of the country’s biggest media and technology companies to get their views on Apple, which, after years of casting itself as the tiny outsider, has become an 800-pound gorilla calling the shots in several arenas.

“The [Justice Dept.] is doing outreach,” said one Hollywood industry source. “You can’t dictate terms to the industry. The Adobe thing is just inviting the wrath of everybody.”

Lame. Lame. Lame.

Typical anti-Apple bullshit. You know what? If you need flash, then don’t buy an iPhone or an iPad. If Flash on the web is a must-have, then isn’t Apple only shooting itself in the foot?

Not surprisingly, it’s a Hollywood industry source (read: moron) who exclaims that Apple is dictating terms to the industry. Apple isn’t dictating anything. It’s just releasing the best products it can and if you’re not on board, then go buy a Droid or an upcoming Android or Windows 7 based tablet device. The apparent misconception that users are being forced to purchase iPhones and iPads is maddening and inexplicable. There’s no shortage of competition in tech these days, and some have been quick to point out that Apple, in many ways, isn’t up to snuff with rival products and services.

In short, doesn’t the Justice Department have better things to do?

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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Bill Mackin Says:

    Wow! This is one of the most biased articles I have read in a long time. I’m a long time Apple loyalist and you even make me feel a bit uncomfortable. Congratulations. Apple makes great products and Steve Jobs is a true visionary, but they are certainly not without fault.

    Not sure I caught your name anywhere. I’d like to follow your writings and see if I maybe just caught you on a bad day.

  2. Richard Says:

    It is true. You want flash on your tablet or smartphone. BUY ANDROID.

    It is THAT SIMPLE.

    Apple is entitled to decide what goes and what doesn’t into their products. If you as a consumer do not like this then DONT BUY APPLE.

    If people keep buying Apple perhaps that means that they are right.

  3. Dan Woods Says:

    Amazon to Record Companies: “Give us exclusive pre-release access to your albums and we’ll give you front page.”
    Logic: “If you give Amazon *exclusive access*, it won’t be available on iTunes, Zune Marketplace or anywhere else until it is released. That’s what exclusive means”
    Record Companies to Amazon: “Go away, we don’t want to give you exclusive access.”
    Amazon to DoJ: “Wah, Wah. We can’t muscle Record Companies like we can muscle Publishers!”

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