There's little evidence, but the fact that these 3 major companies are now moved against in roughly the same timeframe while the administration and DoJ have already their hands more than full is suggestive ...
Everyone who's been lobbying for one of these investigations has been lobbying for the other three. A couple key folks at the DoJ started prioritizing tech antitrust, in part due to some other time-consuming matters having recently been sunset. (Previously, it was being pursued as a civil matter though the regulators. Big legal teams have an easier time squashing those compared.)
No need for a political conspiracy. (In any case, these investigations take a long time to get going. None of these efforts were started in even the last months.)
>The Democratic-led investigation comes as the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are taking their first steps toward a potential probe of their own into Google, according to three people familiar with the matter. Regulators have negotiated to divide oversight of the tech industry between the two agencies in recent weeks, these people said. The two agencies have also reportedly split up oversight of Amazon, Apple and Facebook.
I think you might be suffering from severe change blindness.
>"I believe that if people stoped[sic] using or subscribing to @ATT, they would be forced to make big changes at @CNN, which is dying in the ratings anyway. It is so unfair with such bad, Fake News! Why wouldn’t they act. When the World watches @CNN, it gets a false picture of USA. Sad!"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2019
I am in complete agreement that all of those examples make Donald Trump appear quite normal.
This is because Donald Trump is an ordinary president in a very normal way.
The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by a Manhattan Democrat, is also investigating.
I have to say I'm surprised by the anger on this forum in response to these investigations. Yes, a lot of us butter our bread from big tech. And yes, there are other antitrust targets in the country. (There are always other targets.) But for years, comments about the lawlessness and recklessness of these companies have been raised. When I--and others--raised the possibility of a response, through regulators, the courts and the legislature, the possibility was met with derision.
Now that we have progress on the investigations, there is a mixture of (a) allegations of partisanship, (b) whataboutism and (c) a general tone of hostility around the motivations of those pursuing these investigations.
I would argue the opposite for people in our industry. If Google, Apple, and/or Amazon have truly been acting in anti-competitive fashion, it's likely they have stifled natural competition, which would probably drive up wages (See the Apple/Google Poaching scandal). It's also likely more of us would be starting small businesses without company run walled gardens preventing us from doing so.
Also, noone here has been suggesting a conspiracy.
Whether or not they violate existing statute, they all seem to be abusing their power in various ways. (Google and Facebook with personal information, ad handling, and interoperability, Apple with walled garden and no-competition apps, et al.)
Also, I'm not saying it's a bad development for consumers if the investigations and legal actions actually come to pass (not sure how much is "considered" vs "definitely planned" vs "initiated and staffed").
"The last time that technology companies faced this kind of scrutiny was Google's antitrust investigation, or the now twenty-one year old lawsuit brought by the Justice Department and multiple states against Microsoft.
But times have changed since Google had its hearing before a much friendlier audience of regulators under President Barack Obama.
These days, Republican and Democratic lawmakers are both making the case that big technology companies hold too much power in American political and economic life.
Issues around personal privacy, economic consolidation, misinformation and free speech are on the minds of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers." - Techcrunch
If no investigation has been announced and no case has been filed, is there a document hold?
If not, these "threats" may be signalling these companies to find and destroy incriminating evidence, and giving them the time to do it.
Maybe four, Amazon too: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/06/02/amazon-...
This article is about the former, though the latter has also announced investigations.
From my viewpoint in UKOGBANI, the Democrats just plain don't do this whilst the Republicans (and particularly McConnell) wilfully delight in blocking -anything- they can.
don't get caught up in the fake news, foreign influence of elections, and other malarkey. This is just cover to prevent any political speech outside of what the two political parties approve of getting any outlet. Remember that politicians have near unlimited means to get their message out and loathe the idea they cannot control others from not doing the same.
I wonder why most mentions of "fake news" I hear are from people reading fake news.
If you honestly don't believe in foreign influence of elections you need to reassess your world model and belief structure. It's not just (myriad) US intelligence agencies confirming it, but other countries. If your conspiracy hinges on that much coordination, you should probably apply Occam's razor.
Whether this issue is the driving force in these probes or not is still debatable, of course.
The attacked entity denies there was any deal at first, then just shuts up, and the attack drops out of the news cycle.
I mean, there are ample reasons to have a good hard look at some of these companies, but with all the blatant corruption and stupidity from Trump and company, it makes you wonder.
Only reason the GOP is interested in regulating tech is because they believe tech platforms should be forced to carry their political message without restrictions.
Some of the Democratic candidates (e.g. Warren) also support similar measures, so it's not required that this is purely a political play.
Apple simply does not have a monopoly in any market, from either a narrow "by the book" perspective or in a broader functional perspective.
Unless the DoJ Apple is unfairly monopolizing the market for Apple's products and services...
You could describe it as a duopoly but I think it’s pretty clear that Apple and Google are fierce competitors. And Apple has minority market share by far.
Neither company has anywhere near a well protected position in the market. The mobile computing market has not seen companies establish long running monopolies.
Two of the top competitors in the sector, BlackBerry and Nokia, are long gone, shells of their former selves.
The problem you complain about is due to structural elements in the market, specifically that network effects are inevitable in the market for operating systems.
The purpose of anti-trust laws is to protect people against predatory markets practices, not to interfere with market function because it doesn’t support a product.
FWIW, there are other mobile OS options available. You just don’t want to use them because they have not reached a market share significant enough to support the kind of rock app ecosystem we expect.
Really, of all of these, Apple is seemingly the most blatant in their anti-competitive behaviors. Google and Facebook at least offer choice even if that choice is a somewhat of an illusion. Apple just flat out forbids competing with it in distributing iOS apps and vigorously guards its cut of subscription revenue.
are definitely gonna run Apple into trouble.
This is basically the definition of what is known as "tying".
See, https://www.theantitrustattorney.com/antitrust-laws-prohibit... for a fairly good description.
(This was the claim against MS - tying OS and browser).
Facebook owns ~95% of the 'social media' market in the US. (And is proving surprisingly capable at buying its way out of irrelevancy.) This may be bad for advertisers, for users, or for competitors.
How can you be said to have a monopoly on your own platform when that platform itself is a small % of the market?
The argument is ridiculous on its merits unless you are willing to ignore years of established case law (which is the basis of our Jurisprudence)
Facebook article, three hours ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20084703
Google article, three days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20066288
Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty excited to see these companies get smacked around because I think all are too powerful, too influential, but with these three in a row in such quick succession I have to wonder if the motivation is political.
Edit: Here is a similar article for Amazon (one day ago), that slipped through the cracks: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20074593
The rest of these articles are just guessing about what it means.
It's certainly the case that they don't broker agreements for no reason.
But they've also probably been talking to each other about it for 4+ years.
In the background they've almost certainly had lighter investigations/considerations roughly "forever".
So i'd take all of this with a huge grain of salt until there is something more.
It will be obvious what is going on one way or the other when they start issuing subpoenas, to either potential witnesses, or to these companies themselves.
Before that, the other sign would be huge staffing up of the temps and experts necessary for document review, etc.
> "Antitrust also has become an early flash point among Democrats vying for the White House ahead of the 2020 election. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recently threatened major investigations of Amazon, Apple and Facebook. This week, she offered early support in response to news that the Justice Department could bring such an investigation against Google."
Maybe this is a case of numerous parties having a diverse set of motivations that all line up? Democrats who blame these companies for Trump's election (makes the least sense in the specific case of Apple or Amazon...), and Republicans who say these companies are censoring them (makes the least sense in the specific case of Apple or Amazon...) Maybe these companies are just running out of friends in Washington.
To me, this feels more like a not so subtle threat than a concerted, thoroughly considered plan that has finally come to fruition.
Amazon doesn’t own the Washington Post.
There are shades of grey between "Apple takes 30%, gets to reject apps for any or no reason, and gets to auto-install Apple Music in competition with Spotify" and flipping the App Store to the Android model.
If apple was constrained from shipping apps that have competitors, they would effectively be prevented from shipping any apps at all.
Sure they have.
> Why did the folks at Tweetie add swear words to their program? Actually, they didn't. But something crude happened to be trending on Twitter at the time the app was submitted for review.
Or Google Voice:
Walled gardens have less thugs and shady alleys.
I say this as someone who has had apps denied by reviews for requesting a permission that was not needed inside of the version of the app I submitted to the store. They absolutely do review and vet apps for privacy and security.