Apple to House Antitrust Committee: 'We vehemently disagree'

"Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business." — Apple's company line

We have always said that scrutiny is reasonable and appropriate but we vehemently disagree with the conclusions reached in this staff report with respect to Apple.

Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business. From its beginnings 12 years ago with just 500 apps, we've built the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for users to discover and download apps and a supportive way for developers to create and sell apps globally.

Hosting close to two million apps today, the ‌App Store‌ has delivered on that promise and met the highest standards for privacy, security and quality.

The ‌App Store‌ has enabled new markets, new services and new products that were unimaginable a dozen years ago, and developers have been primary beneficiaries of this ecosystem. Last year in the United States alone, the ‌App Store‌ facilitated $138 billion in commerce with over 85% of that amount accruing solely to third-party developers. Apple's commission rates are firmly in the mainstream of those charged by other app stores and gaming marketplaces.

Competition drives innovation, and innovation has always defined us at Apple. We work tirelessly to deliver the best products to our customers, with safety and privacy at their core, and we will continue to do so.

My take: No surprises here.

12 Comments

  1. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    Apple: “ Agree to disagree. “
    Taste the proof in the pudding.Apple’s customers think it’s delicious.

    8
    October 8, 2020
  2. Fred Stein said:
    Success does not equal monopoly.

    Delighted customers.

    Stifling innovation and competition – ludicrous. They spawned $100’s if Billions of wealth in their ecosystem – well beyond the $185 B in revenue.

    5
    October 8, 2020
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Bizarre analogy – to railroads, which had monopolistic practices in the 19th century. For this bit, it’s passenger not freight

    On the App store train, anyone can ride for free. Anyone can set up food and beverage and gaming tables for a fee. Apple will provide tools to help vendors set up their franchises and set rules to make sure it’s safe for all parties. Vendors may set up take-out stands at the train stations to avoid Apple’s fee. You can always ride the Android train, or take the Web bus, or walk along BlackBerry road.

    8
    October 8, 2020
  4. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Among world’s top valuations.

    Among world’s top brand equities.

    Billions in cash.

    Retail $ per sq. ft. like Tiffany’s.

    Customer Sat — 98%.

    YET…

    “Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business.”

    Uncanny. Doesn’t seem to add up — yet true.

    The magic of DBA Apple.

    2
    October 8, 2020
  5. David Emery said:
    It is interesting to think about two issues that should be related. One, of course, is the Apple Anti-Trust arguments. The other is copyright and fair use on APIs, see http://www.fosspatents.com/2020/10/bench-reading-what-supreme-court.html for a summary of the Supreme Court hearing. I’m OK with the Supremes ruling that APIs are copyright, but I also think a provision of Fair Use for re-implementing an otherwise copyright API should be allowed.

    The connection is this: “How far do you go in forcing a company to ‘open access’ to its software within the current limits of copyright? Could a company such as Apple place copyright restrictions on how others use the code required to write apps for iOS?” I don’t have an answer for that, and I suspect Congress won’t either. So that means the courts will have to sort it out!

    1
    October 8, 2020
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      How far do you go in forcing a company to ‘open access’ to its software within the current limits of copyright?

      Use Apple’s APIs for profit you pay fees. Use Apple’s APIs for your own, non-commercial purpose pay no fees.

      2
      October 8, 2020
  6. Lalit Jagtap said:
    Here is a crazy one from most reasonable company “Microsoft”. The MSFT team is pressuring Apple to give up a control of App Store.

    https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2020/10/08/app-store-fairness-caf-interoperability-principles/

    “We also operate a store on the Xbox console. It’s reasonable to ask why we are not also applying these principles to that Xbox store today.

    Game consoles are specialized devices optimized for a particular use. Though well-loved by their fans, they are vastly outnumbered in the marketplace by PCs and phones.

    And the business model for game consoles is very different to the ecosystem around PCs or phones.”

    1
    October 8, 2020
  7. Jonny Tilney said:
    Seems to me the committee didn’t want to be seen to be leaving Apple out of the criticism. No other reason to do so. Weak, spineless leadership, again.

    1
    October 9, 2020
    • Jonny Tilney said:
      Benedict Evans posted this on Twitter:

      “It’s amazing, and kind of disappointing, just how *sloppy* the house antitrust committee’s work is. It claims ‘big tech’ caused a collapse in company formation – yet Pitchbook says tech VC deals went up 4X since 2006. The committee source: report on data that ended in 2011 ‍♂️”

      And incompetent too.

      1
      October 9, 2020

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