Friday, June 11, 2010

Is Apple In Trouble?

Has Apple gotten too big for its own good? Are they no longer the scrappy little guy but the biggest bully in the room. Unfortunately, that behavior gets noticed and now the government may want to get involved. "The Federal Trade Commission is about to take the lead in the federal investigation of possible anti-competitive behavior at Apple, according to a well-placed source familiar with the matter." While I am a fan of Apple, I understand the need for an open and competitive marketplace. Control and openness are hardly ever synonymous.

"FTC Commissioner Thomas Rosch, in a presentation Wednesday at the Vienna Competition Conference, spoke about Apple, a source said. Rosch said that Apple's new advertising policies preventing competitors from doing business on Apple devices seemed problematic, and were potentially significant developments." I'm sure that Apple will argue that other devices are available and the consumer is free to choose which platform they wish to use. Consequently free trade exists in the market and Apple's proprietary ad engine is not anti-competitive. But Apple's success is its own worse enemy. They have built must have products and captured significant market share as a result. They are the game with few players able to reach their level. Even Microsoft has been unable to build an iTunes type business or iPad alternative.

Will an FTC or DOJ investigation lead to a charge. I'm confident the attorneys are already hard at work defending Apple.

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