Countdown Thread: How long do you think it'll be before Apple gets sued for antitrust

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by wikoogle, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. wikoogle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    Before you ask, yes I do have a law degree.

    Remember what happened to Microsoft. Microsoft was fined as being in violation of antitrust laws for merely bundling Internet Explorer with Windows for free. This was deemed anticompetitive and Microsoft had to pay a huge settlement to Netscape and other competing browsers and eventually make their Internet Explorer uninstallable.

    In the same fashion, I am absolutely certain that it is illegal for Apple to block Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox from making and releasing a competing web browser for the iPhone OS now that it is being used in the iPad as well (the iPad afterall is being marketed as a Tablet PC).

    Similarly, it was illegal for Apple to reject Google Voice from the App Store and they were told as such by a letter from the FCC.

    If some one was to sue Apple on these grounds, Apple would in fact lose.

    Apple goes way beyond what Microsoft was found to be in violation of the law for. Not only do they bundle Safari with the iPhone OS, they actively disallow competitors from making competing browsers or competing products such as Google Voice.

    It's actually a very blatant violation of antitrust and I expect that it won't be long before Apple gets sued for it, and ends up having to pay a fine and having to change their policy.

    Also remember how Apple's policy states that you can't install OSX onto non Apple products. That policy doesn't mean what people think it means. You still have every right as an enduser to install any copy of OSX that you legally purchase onto any device that you want. It's the same legal justification for why it's legal for you to back up a cd or videogame that you purchased, as long as you don't give the backup out to other people. The only thing the policy means is that if the OSX you installed onto your Gateway starts giving you problems for some reason, Apple can refuse to provide customer support on how to fix the problem.

    So what do you think? How long do you think it'll be before Apple gets sued for antitrust by someone, and we end up with a version of either Opera, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome on the iPhone with support for both Flash and Java?
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Anybody can sue anybody for anything
    Doesn't mean they will win

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  3. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    is there any 3rd party web browsers for the iphone right now?
  4. wikoogle thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    Macdawg, there is a very clear cut legal precedent here.

    It would be extremely unlikely for the judge to reverse it and rule in Apple's favor, unless he has a very good justification for doing so.
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    He didn't say it was not possible. Perhaps you need to re-read what he wrote.

    As for your opinion, well it's an opinion and that is all. again, anyone can sue anyone. Winning is another story, precedent or not.
  6. Insilin1i macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Apple doesn't stop people from installing OS X they just have very strict requirements for what the software can be installed on. Having safari I am not to sure about since apple is quite different from microsoft since apple is more closed and limited with their products.
  7. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Apple doesn't have a de facto monopoly either on the personal computer OS market with Mac OS X or the mobile OS market with iPhone OS.

    Microsoft had this back when they forced Netscape out (in part by denying PC manufacturers to install Netscape under threat of loosing the right to license Windows).

    Very different situations.
  8. snatefinch macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2009
    I believe that there is already some browsers already on the iPhone that you can download from the App Store. I also don't think that they are blocking Mozilla and Google for creating a browser, they just haven't created one yet. Why should they care which you use on your iPhone? They don't care that you use a different calculator, stock program, etc. You paid for the phone and they don't get any money from using their apps, they would actually make more money in having you buy a 3rd party app.
  9. Maclver macrumors 68020


    Nov 23, 2008
    36°07′53″N 95°56′14″W
    The title should be changed to "Countdown: Until this thread is locked and thrown into wasteland"

    It's not anti-trust when Apple owns the hardware and software! Apple can do what it wants! Just like broadcasters can broadcast what they want to and not broadcast what they don't want over their airwaves.... If people complain about Apple and it's policies don't buy Apple!
  10. labman macrumors 604


    Jun 9, 2009
    Mich near Detroit
    not necessary

    Lawyers Always win one way or another! :rolleyes:
  11. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    There are 3rd party browsers in the App store, but it seems Apple requires them to be based on webkit at the moment.

    As far as Antitrust goes, it's only one phone. So I doubt any suits will emerge. Apple doesn't seem to be blocking any apps that are within their guidelines.

    I do hope Apple changes it guidelines soon and allows browsers like Skyfire and Opera. Skyfire FAQs has already mentioned that they are waiting for a response from Apple.
  12. labman macrumors 604


    Jun 9, 2009
    Mich near Detroit
    All browsers

    are based of the same platform as safari in other words they modify safari. as was said the fact they own full rights to there software and hardware is a major difference. but maybe the op can talk to firefox about spending some coin on the case.

    sorry LIVEFRMNYC just finished after you!
  13. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Apple doesn't own the hardware. I do. My iPod is mine. If I bought an iPad, then that iPad would be mine. I don't believe that Apple has any right to dictate what software I can use on my hardware. If I want to remove the iPhone OS and put Linux on it, then I should be able to.
  14. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    Technically Apple can dictate usage. They are able to disown any rights of support or warranty agreements if any user modifies it's software or hardware.

    They can also file suit if your using a modified product for business purposes. Not likely to happen unless it's on a large scale.
  15. Hawke macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    Dublin, Ireland
    Yes.. I use M-Browser, which is a third party browser, and absolutely love it
  16. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    For "merely bundling?" That's what you thought the problem was?

    You spent a lot of time writing a very long post based on a very mistaken impression. I guess if you thought this then your post makes sense. Unfortunately you left out the very, very important point about Microsoft being a de facto monopoly.

    From the Judge's ruling:
    That was a critical part of those rulings and for you to leave it out makes the rest of your post downright pointless. Microsoft didn't get in trouble for "merely bundling" software. They got in trouble for abusing their monopoly position against their competitors.

    The iPhone market share is well under 15% at the moment. The strength of Android, RIM, and Palm all suggest that the iPhone will never achieve the monopoly status that Windows enjoyed. The Macintosh system is similarly small and I see no indication that it will ever get anywhere close to being a monopoly.

    So there's your answer: Apple will be in trouble once it becomes a monopoly. But don't hold your breath. I don't see it happening.
  17. NathanA macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2008
    Apple can't be sued for antitrust violations unless they hold a monopoly position that they're absuing. I don't have a law degree, but I'm pretty sure that this is correct. :p

    So, to answer the question as to "when": years from now, if ever. I'm no fan of the way that Apple runs the App Store on their iPhone OS based platforms, but technically they are breaking no law...yet.

    -- Nathan
  18. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    You may be a lawyer, but I'm guessing you're not in line for a judgeship anytime soon.

    Since you apparently aren't aware of the ins and outs of licensing and agreements relative to iPhone/iPod Touch SDK, I'm going to have to object on the grounds of assuming facts not in evidence.

    We'll take it under advisement until we can see briefs from both you and Apple. We can admire your passion, if not the thoroughness of your research.
  19. tritonj macrumors 6502a

    Jun 12, 2008
    i don't even like apple all that much as a company, i think they do some pretty shady things when it suits there purpose just like everyone else, but your argument is swiss cheese and has plenty of misconceptions all over it
  20. smithrh macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009
    I am tending to doubt this.

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