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Old Sep 25, 2013, 01:50 PM   #1
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Apple Under Investigation by French Authorities Over Carrier Contracts




The French government is looking into Apple's carrier contracts in France over the requirements it places on companies that sell the iPhone, reports The Wall Street Journal.

This is not the first time that regulators in Europe have looked into the strict terms that Apple requires of its carrier partners -- Apple insists carriers guarantee sales of large numbers of iPhones and other factors that some say amount to anti-competitive behavior.

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The inquiry is part of a larger investigation into the overall relationship between handset makers and some of their biggest clients, said the person familiar with the matter. "For operators, handsets have become one of the big expenses," the person said. "There is a balance of power that is shifting."
Back in March, European regulators looked into the potential antitrust issues of Apple's contracts with carriers, but this new investigation is specifically from the French government, rather than the EU itself.

France is also looking into Apple's treatment of its third-party resellers as well as the behavior of Apple, Google and Amazon that prevent customers from moving purchased apps from one platform to another.

Article Link: Apple Under Investigation by French Authorities Over Carrier Contracts
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 02:01 PM   #2
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hmmm

maybe the people under investigation should be the carriers. That seems to be where the most collusion, corruption, anti-trust and price fixing appears to take place. Especially in places like Canada and the US.
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 02:21 PM   #3
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maybe the people under investigation should be the carriers. That seems to be where the most collusion, corruption, anti-trust and price fixing appears to take place. Especially in places like Canada and the US.
Never gonna happen. Though it is sometimes nice to think about.

By the way, investigating behavior over "not allowing customers to transfer purchased apps between platforms?" Really? Yes, software coded in Objective-C using Cocoa Touch APIs is transferable between entirely different software platforms. . Or wait, they mean developers should GIVE their software away to users who bought their software on other platforms, and just completely ignore the work they did to bring that software from one platform to another.

Lets just force all platforms to run on the same kernel with the same APIs and development environment using the same language. Yes, that would kill ALL innovation at the software level. Lets just turn software into a commodity rather than an art form. Software prices are already at give-away prices, lets just take it even further. Rather than appreciating the quality of software that can be had these days for insanely low prices, in your pocket everywhere you go.

I wish governments would become more technically enlightened before trying to poke their noses in an area they have literally zero knowledge about.
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 02:24 PM   #4
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...

I wish governments would become more technically enlightened before trying to poke their noses in an area they have literally zero knowledge about.
That'll be the day...

Seems like everyone [ govts ] loves to get their panties in a bunch when it comes to Apple.

You really are alone at the top...
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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While we're at it, I should be able to put my VHS tapes into a bluray player. I shouldn't have to repay for Disney's "remastered" editions.
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 05:18 PM   #6
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While we're at it, I should be able to put my VHS tapes into a bluray player. I shouldn't have to repay for Disney's "remastered" editions.
I'm not convinced this is a good analogy. Perhaps a better one would be this: You buy a Blu-Ray disc of Spiderman (which is a Sony-developed movie). Should you be able to play that BR disc in a non-Sony player?

If you're allowed to play (transfer) a BR disc (ie, an app) in any BR player (ie, the platform), why wouldn't you be able to transfer a mobile app from one platform to another?

I'm not saying I agree / disagree with the investigation, but perhaps there are analogies to be drawn. Whether or not these analogies are good is another matter, but I could see why the FR government is asking the question.
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 05:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by NorEaster View Post
I'm not convinced this is a good analogy. Perhaps a better one would be this: You buy a Blu-Ray disc of Spiderman (which is a Sony-developed movie). Should you be able to play that BR disc in a non-Sony player?

If you're allowed to play (transfer) a BR disc (ie, an app) in any BR player (ie, the platform), why wouldn't you be able to transfer a mobile app from one platform to another?

I'm not saying I agree / disagree with the investigation, but perhaps there are analogies to be drawn. Whether or not these analogies are good is another matter, but I could see why the FR government is asking the question.
A better analogy still would be video game disks. Why can't you run a ps3 disk on an Xbox360?

I'm suddenly interested in seeing if anyone has modded any of the video game consoles to play any other console's disks... I've seen OS X emulators that let them run PS1 disks, so maybe an Xbox 360 can be modded to run PS1 disks too?
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 06:16 PM   #8
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A better analogy still would be video game disks. Why can't you run a ps3 disk on an Xbox360?

I'm suddenly interested in seeing if anyone has modded any of the video game consoles to play any other console's disks... I've seen OS X emulators that let them run PS1 disks, so maybe an Xbox 360 can be modded to run PS1 disks too?
I'm not aware of any XBOX mods that allow you to run PS discs. Having said that...some app developers and game developers are allowing you to download / run the same app for different platforms. For example, Adobe allows you to install any of their CC apps on Mac or Windows. You need to pay the CC subscription fee of course, but doing so allows you to download and run something like Photoshop on your platform of choice. I thought the latest SimCity was the same... but I may be mistaken here (and I'm too lazy right now to look it up). Either way, some app developers are entitling a user to run an app on his platform of choice these days.
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 06:32 PM   #9
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One platform to another, haha, joke of the day. Seeing how these platforms are not compatible with each other. It's not like they are all running windows or OSX. Good luck on that one.
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 07:08 PM   #10
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Determined lawyers......

as goverment regulators always can find troublesome items in corporative contracts. The thing right now, Apple is becoming the Ivory Tower for claims, class action suites, demands and the like. Big pockets dont play in favour of Apple, less in Europe where too many people have Anti-american attitudes and rethorics.....Would be wise if Apple adjust their requeriments/contracts based more firmly in local marketing conditions. I had seen Apple gone to great lenghts to take a foothold in the Chinese market. Can this signal a deliberate or an accidental omision from Apple?.....Corporative complot theoricists welcome...........

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Old Sep 25, 2013, 07:21 PM   #11
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Lets just force all platforms to run on the same kernel with the same APIs and development environment using the same language.
Well, this sort of thing has been attempted before; it's called Java. See how that turned out...

But yeah, that government nonsense needs to stop right now. - "If you have no clue of the subject at hand, simply just STeffU"
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 09:59 PM   #12
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Apple should just buy France.
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 01:31 AM   #13
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On another note, that Apple store in Paris looks better than the all glass fronts in the states.

Loos very stylish.
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 01:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by NorEaster View Post
If you're allowed to play (transfer) a BR disc (ie, an app) in any BR player (ie, the platform), why wouldn't you be able to transfer a mobile app from one platform to another?
I think you're actually supporting the opposite point. See, BR to BR is the same platform. Apple to Android. Apple to Windows8Mobile. Windows to Mac. These are not the same compatible platforms. And, yes, while this sounds good the French gvt. is showing they are pretty ignorant about computer languages & software development. Or else they want to push everybody onto one, single platform.
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 03:49 AM   #15
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That'll be the day...

Seems like everyone [ govts ] loves to get their panties in a bunch when it comes to Apple.

You really are alone at the top...
Yep. Microsoft also had their day when every European government was slapping them with five lawsuits a week.

Sure some of them were necessary from keeping Microsoft from acting like a big monopolistic bully. But the most high profile cases were over really pedantic things (IMHO) like suing them for gazillion-trillion dollars simply because they tightly integrated THEIR own browser (Explorer) into THEIR own operating system (Windows).

I thought those lawsuits against MS were also useless. In the the end, I was right, those lawsuits against MS never did anything to curtail its business practice, nor did it "pare down" a giant. Nope. They were useless and a waste of taxpayer money. In the end, Microsoft (and Explorer's dominance of the web) declined not because of those lawsuits or regulations.... Microsoft's dominance and influence declined as a result of its own missteps.

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Apple should just buy France.
It would be a poor ROI.
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 06:38 AM   #16
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Never gonna happen. Though it is sometimes nice to think about.

By the way, investigating behavior over "not allowing customers to transfer purchased apps between platforms?" Really? Yes, software coded in Objective-C using Cocoa Touch APIs is transferable between entirely different software platforms. . Or wait, they mean developers should GIVE their software away to users who bought their software on other platforms, and just completely ignore the work they did to bring that software from one platform to another.

Lets just force all platforms to run on the same kernel with the same APIs and development environment using the same language. Yes, that would kill ALL innovation at the software level. Lets just turn software into a commodity rather than an art form. Software prices are already at give-away prices, lets just take it even further. Rather than appreciating the quality of software that can be had these days for insanely low prices, in your pocket everywhere you go.

I wish governments would become more technically enlightened before trying to poke their noses in an area they have literally zero knowledge about.
Yay for devs not knowing anything about business!

A lot of software is compatible with different platforms these days, via emulation, virtualization, or just outright conversion. For instance, no one is going after Steam for this. Why? Steam offers you the game on multiple platforms at no extra cost-IF THE GAME EXISTS ON THE OTHER PLATFORMS.

The way the App store is set up, this is simply not possible. Apple refuses to provide service to any other OS and refuses to allow any other app store on its own software, rendering this possibility impossible.

No one is telling Devs that they shouldn't be paid for the work they do; if they have to give away copies of the game on all platforms they support, they can: Charge more (value added), or look at it as a new feature given (again, value added), or complain about how their users should buy as many copies of their game as possible even if the user has already bought it (ignoring that this type of thing leads to piracy in a lot of circumstances because the game ceases to be something someone bought).

I mean, I'll grant that this is a very weak case in my opinion from what I've read (I'm not in the court). I don't necessarily agree that you should be forced to give away apps, for all intents and purposes, on other platforms. However, saying that courts don't know what they're talking about is just...well, garbage. The only way I can understand the position you take is if you're a developer. As a consumer, I don't see why this would ever be a problem, and again, there are ways to make this happen in a clean, logical manner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixsan View Post
as goverment regulators always can find troublesome items in corporative contracts. The thing right now, Apple is becoming the Ivory Tower for claims, class action suites, demands and the like. Big pockets dont play in favour of Apple, less in Europe where too many people have Anti-american attitudes and rethorics.....Would be wise if Apple adjust their requeriments/contracts based more firmly in local marketing conditions. I had seen Apple gone to great lenghts to take a foothold in the Chinese market. Can this signal a deliberate or an accidental omision from Apple?.....Corporative complot theoricists welcome...........

I'm not convinced what is going on with Apple is anything of the sort. Considering how much money they take in, I'm not convinced they get sued nearly the same amount per dollar of revenue as other companies.

Furthermore, Apple does a lot of suing themselves. And Apple has cribbed many technologies. And, frankly, I'm aware of any open standards Apple creates (they seem to just patent it and keep it in-house, not even for licensing a lot of the time, and very seldom create essentials). So...

Europe? Anti-American? I've seldom encountered it. Yes, there are loudmouth jerks over there (the first person I ever met on the mainland was because he was shouting at me for being American when I was trying to order food), but that's roughly all I've encountered. As a Jew, I've encountered a lot more anti-Semitism than anti-Americanism in Europe. They're not going after Apple because they're American. And whether or not Apple is much of an American company at the moment is debated anyway-our government goes after Apple for incorporating in Europe to escape tax laws of our country, remember? And Apple makes how many products here? A vaporware Mac Pro?

Last edited by clibinarius; Sep 26, 2013 at 06:48 AM.
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 06:50 AM   #17
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One platform to another, haha, joke of the day. Seeing how these platforms are not compatible with each other. It's not like they are all running windows or OSX. Good luck on that one.
If I buy a game on Steam that is Steamplay I can play it on Windows, Linux or OSX. All for the one price.
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 08:55 AM   #18
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I'm not convinced this is a good analogy. Perhaps a better one would be this: You buy a Blu-Ray disc of Spiderman (which is a Sony-developed movie). Should you be able to play that BR disc in a non-Sony player?

If you're allowed to play (transfer) a BR disc (ie, an app) in any BR player (ie, the platform), why wouldn't you be able to transfer a mobile app from one platform to another?

I'm not saying I agree / disagree with the investigation, but perhaps there are analogies to be drawn. Whether or not these analogies are good is another matter, but I could see why the FR government is asking the question.
Ehhh, the problem with this analogy is that Blu-Ray is an accepted standard. Your analogy is more accurate if we're talking about desktop Minecraft, because it's programmed in Java and Windows, Mac, and Linux all use Java. Or a Flash game.

Objective-C, Java, and C# are different enough where porting between the three isn't that easy and very time consuming, so it really shouldn't be free to get the other versions. Albeit, I don't think that consumers should pay the full price, but definitely not free.

Probably a better analogy would be if I have the English version of Harry Potter, I should get the Spanish version for free. It's the exact same story, just the words and grammar need translating. This actually makes the apps more in favor, because DirectX and OpenGL share almost nothing in common, so even the logic has be rewritten for some apps.
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 03:40 PM   #19
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I think you're actually supporting the opposite point. See, BR to BR is the same platform. Apple to Android. Apple to Windows8Mobile. Windows to Mac. These are not the same compatible platforms. And, yes, while this sounds good the French gvt. is showing they are pretty ignorant about computer languages & software development. Or else they want to push everybody onto one, single platform.
I think you (and others) might be taking this investigation too literally. While the original post from MR says the French govn't is reviewing the "behavior of Apple, Google and Amazon that prevent customers from moving purchased apps from one platform to another.", I don't believe they really think customers should be able to MOVE purchased apps. Admittedly, I don't have a source that proves this though.

However, there are app developers (like Adobe and Steam) that allow you to pay 1 price for an app yet download and run that app on different platforms. Adobe CC apps work this way and as another poster mentioned, (some) Steam games work this way as well. I would venture to guess the FR govn't was referring to that kind of model...instead of the model where you can literally transfer an app from one platform to another.
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