Is Apple a monopoly?

The former underdog has become a top dog — and now federal regulators are saying that Apple's iPad app policy may violate antitrust laws

Is the end near for Apple?
(Image credit: Creative Commons)

Though Apple's image was once firmly anti-establishment, lately the company has been facing criticism that it's just another behemoth. And its image problems may only get worse now that regulators at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are considering an investigation into whether the restrictions Apple places on iPad and iPhone app developers kills competition. It's rumored Apple may change its policies to skirt an investigation, but the question remains: Has Apple grown too controlling for its own good?

Monopoly? I don't think so: Sorry, Apple haters, says John Paczkowski in All Things Digital, there's "nothing to see here." It's not like Apple has the power to force developers to write apps for Apple exclusively. "Given thriving competition in the smartphone market and the number of cross-platform apps already available," this investigation seems highly unlikely.

"A possible Apple anti-trust inquiry? Nothing to see here"

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Apple has a growing problem: The case against Apple is admittedly weak, says Nilay Patel in Engadget, but it's easy to "see why the feds are interested." Apple has slowly moved "into an ever-more dominant position in the mobile market," which forces "developers to make a hard choice about which platforms to target." Policies like that "certainly put the squeeze on competitors."

"Apple to face antitrust inquiry over iPhone coding restrictions?"

It's the regulators we should fear, not Apple: "Call me crazy," says Larry Dignan in ZDNet, "but I’m not sure I want the Feds playing around" with software-developer agreements. "It smells like micromanagement to me and that’s dangerous." It's Apple's right to decide which applications run on its platforms — and to "pay the consequences in the marketplace" if it makes the wrong decisions. Stop meddling, Feds.

"Apple vs Adobe on antitrust: Should regulators dictate what's in an SDK?"

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