Apple May Be Target of U.S. Anti-Trust Action

Apple may soon be facing charges of anti-competitive practices by either the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, or both.

By Cliff Roth

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Video/Imaging DesignWire
(5/4/2010 11:36:09 PM)

In an ironic twist, Apple may soon be facing charges of anti-competitive practices by either the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, or both. According to published reports appearing on Reuters and elsewhere, an anonymous government source in a position to know said such action will likely look into Apple’s attempt to monopolize the market for “apps” and video that can run on the iPhone and iPad.

Previously, the European Union has accused Apple of monopolizing the market for downloadable MP3 music. Going back even further in time, both Microsoft and, before that, IBM have also been targets of U.S. Justice Department actions. While back in those days Apple adopted the public persona of a little-guy David fighting the Goliaths of the time, things have changed considerably over roughly a decade’s time. Apple is now the world’s largest music seller, and is well poised to dominate the market for applications that run on smartphones and the nascent “entertainment tablet” market.

Apple has also been criticized for political censorship of iPhone and iPad apps. It was widely reported recently that Apple refused an app by a Pulitzer-Prize winning political cartoonist, while allowing some other politically-oriented content in their app store. Apple’s official app rules specifically ban criticism of public figures, a policy that strikes many Americans as lacking the spirit of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.



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