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There's an interesting philosophical question there. Can a vendor who has 15% marketshare really be called a monopoly?

Sure, they have complete control over who publishes on their own platform, but that sort of thing happens all the time without anyone batting an eyelash at it: The major console vendors do this, as did all cell phone vendors in the pre-smartphone era. My digital camera does this.

That leaves me thinking there's no real ground for invoking antitrust laws on this issue. Though there's still plenty of room to say that these policies are consumer-hostile and not in the public interest, and therefore there ought to be a law against it.

> There's an interesting philosophical question there. Can a vendor who has 15% marketshare really be called a monopoly?

Philosophically interesting perhaps, but legally irrelevant. EU competition law is primarily concerned with dominant market positions and the abuse of that dominance. As the junior partner in a duopoly, Apple are inarguably powerful enough to substantially manipulate the market.


The EU competition commission would be very unlikely to place restrictions on allowable behavior until you reach a 40% market share.


40% share is certainly a much lower bar than in the US, but would still not apply to Apple's share of EU smartphones.

Smart watches, on the other hand…

40% share is a general principle, but it isn't absolute. Apple have a ~27% market share for smartphone sales, but they have a considerably larger share of the overall mobile app market and the App Store obviously has a 100% monopoly on iOS apps. They're in an effective duopoly with Google, which considerably reduces the competitiveness of the market and therefore the threshold for market dominance. It's also worth bearing in mind the serious concerns within the EU about the hegemony of major tech companies.

From your source:

>The Commission also takes other factors into account in its assessment of dominance, including the ease with which other companies can enter the market – whether there are any barriers to this; the existence of countervailing buyer power; the overall size and strength of the company and its resources and the extent to which it is present at several levels of the supply chain (vertical integration).

Apple clearly score very highly on most of these points.

and phones have [some fraction] marketshare on overall devices people buy, what's your point?

the argument is markets within the ios ecosystem, of which there's effectively one, and how it affects developers' ability to build on that ecosystem.

That's great to hear, and makes me feel a lot more confident that something will actually happen.

My mistake, I was thinking of this in terms of US law, which is much less effective on these sorts of issues.

you're comparing different markets. that's like saying Earth has 1/8th the marketshare on planets therefore nothing that happens here can be called monopolistic.

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