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Drama Epic Games vs Apple in court face off INCLUDING Tim Sweeney , LIVE !!!

IFireflyl

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In markets like China, where there is a universal service like WeChat aka messaging, purchases and all the other shit. The cost of switching OS is smaller therefore it happens more often.

In the UK, if you primarily use the phone for messaging and social media and you are using whatsapp, the cost of switching os is small. This is not true for markets where imessage is the dominant messaging platform.

Regarding the other point, the Senate doesn't need to concerns so much if it is currently illegal, just whether it is good for consumers and producers and then they will legislate accordingly.

I still have no idea what you're trying to say regarding "the cost of switching OS is smaller", but regarding the last part about the Senate: that is precisely the point I'm trying to make. If the Senate passes this bill under the pretense of wanting to help the consumers this would have major ramifications for companies (not just big tech), and it sets a dangerous precedent. In fact, it could end up harming the consumer because innovative businesses could (and would) be told that their product is not allowed to function the way that it does, even when they aren't engaged in monopolistic activity.

Think about this: if you create a piece of software that relies on a marketplace you designed in order for you to make a profit, this bill would effectively kill your product. Other developers would tell customers they have to use the developer's own marketplace instead of using yours, therefore preventing you from making money off of the software that you created. That's what this bill does.

That's not pro-consumer. It's pro-developer. And we all know that nearly all developers do NOT pass any savings onto the customer. If shipping prices decrease the product price isn't decreases to reflect that. Digital games cost the same amount as physical games even though it costs the developers FAR less money for digital content. So Epic Games Store winning this lawsuit, or Congress passing this bill, results in developers getting more money but on the backs of someone else's work (specifically Apple in this scenario), and that doesn't end up benefiting the consumer at all.
 

IFireflyl

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So Windows and the Browser as a way to enter it were also just products and not markets.

Dude, don't bother replying if you're going to ignore the previous posts that already explain this. It's super annoying to have to repeat myself. As I already said, the Apple vs Microsoft monopoly was due to Microsoft having a monopoly in the x86-based PC OS market. Not due to it having a monopoly on Windows (because of course they would since it's their product) or on Internet Explorer (because of course they would since it's their product). Microsoft used their monopolistic control of the PC market to prevent other companies from putting out competing products. A storefront isn't a product. It's a place where you can sell products. Hiland Dairy has to pay Walmart a cut of the revenue from the milk that is sold in Walmart's storefront. Hiland Dairy can't just waltz into Walmart, set up their own kiosk, and then take money for the milk they sell without giving Walmart their cut.

Apple allows Gmail and Google Maps on the iOS. If Apple wanted to put Apple Maps on the Google Play store they could do that. That means that this is nothing like the Apple vs Microsoft monopoly case. Apple doesn't control the market, but iOS was designed around a walled-garden, and them being forced to allow competing storefronts would also mean that developers could put their own storefronts on Playstation and Xbox. Both Microsoft and Sony rely on their storefronts to make money. The consoles themselves either lose money, or they only make a tiny margin. This isn't monopolistic or anti-consumer. It's creating a product around a central idea, and this bill tells them they can't do that. This would effectively kill both Xbox and Playstation as their main revenue stream would dry up almost immediately after the bill passed and developers stopped paying them their 30% cut.
 
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reksveks

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I still have no idea what you're trying to say regarding "the cost of switching OS is smaller", but regarding the last part about the Senate: that is precisely the point I'm trying to make. If the Senate passes this bill under the pretense of wanting to help the consumers this would have major ramifications for companies (not just big tech), and it sets a dangerous precedent. In fact, it could end up harming the consumer because innovative businesses could (and would) be told that their product is not allowed to function the way that it does, even when they aren't engaged in monopolistic activity.

Think about this: if you create a piece of software that relies on a marketplace you designed in order for you to make a profit, this bill would effectively kill your product. Other developers would tell customers they have to use the developer's own marketplace instead of using yours, therefore preventing you from making money off of the software that you created. That's what this bill does.

That's not pro-consumer. It's pro-developer. And we all know that nearly all developers do NOT pass any savings onto the customer. If shipping prices decrease the product price isn't decreases to reflect that. Digital games cost the same amount as physical games even though it costs the developers FAR less money for digital content. So Epic Games Store winning this lawsuit, or Congress passing this bill, results in developers getting more money but on the backs of someone else's work (specifically Apple in this scenario), and that doesn't end up benefiting the consumer at all.

Not sure how to better explain switching cost but imagine if you couldn't move your contacts out of Imessage if you wanted to switch to android. That's a high switching cost that locks users into imessage and therefore iPhone.

More developers that have the ability the compete especially with the platform holders when they roll out their own services aka apple music or air tags leads to a more competitive market which should lead to better consumer outcomes. Yes, there are no guarantees but the market isn't logically all the time but you can assume that the more people trying to sell, the better the options for the people trying to buy.

I would be happy if we forced the companies to not compete with producers on their platform, Apple Music should be forced to compete fairly with Spotify.

COVERED COMPANY.—The term ‘‘Covered
Company’’ means any person that owns or controls
an App Store for which users in the United States
exceed 50,000,000

APP STORE.—The term ‘‘App Store’’ means a publicly available website, software application, or other electronic service that distributes Apps from third-party developers to users of a computer, a mobile device, or any other general purpose computing device.

This only impacts 3 maybe 4 companies.

Google - Play Store
Microsoft - Windows Store
Apple - App Store
 
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Bojanglez

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This goes back to my previous point though. You're saying Apple has a monopoly the same way that Microsoft had a monopoly, but that's false. Microsoft wasn't accused of having a monopoly on internet browsers. It was accused of having a monopoly on the x86-based OS for PC market. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the mobile market. Developers can go to Google, and they can sideload their own market place. Amazon has had it's own Android marketplace almost since the beginning of Android. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the App store. The OS itself is designed around only having one app store, and it's owned and operated by Apple. There are alternatives to this, and that is to go with Android. On that platform (which has a greater market share than Apple, by the way) you can have your own app store.

Again, I hate Apple. But introducing legislation that says you can't create a product to be used the way you want it to be used because people are complaining that it isn't fair, even though they are choosing to use that product and they also have alternatives, is ridiculous. That isn't something that needs to be legislated. Do you also expect Microsoft to allow the PSN network to be installed on an Xbox? Because that's what this bill results in. It's chaos.
From listening to a good chunk of the case, I think the argument isn' that Apple has a monopoly on the mobile phone market, it is that iOS is so significant in its adoption that it is effectively its own market and that Apple has a monopoly on that market.

The precedent that was being used in the case was a case against Kodak from the 90s in relation to photocopiers, this was because even though they never had a monopoly on the photocopier market, their customers were effectively locked-in to their ecosystem and unlikely to be able to switch (without significant financial investment). They were accused of controlling (and sometimes denying) access by third parties to supply parts and consumables.
 
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Topher

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Dude, don't bother replying if you're going to ignore the previous posts that already explain this. It's super annoying to have to repeat myself. As I already said, the Apple vs Microsoft monopoly was due to Microsoft having a monopoly in the x86-based PC OS market. Not due to it having a monopoly on Windows (because of course they would since it's their product) or on Internet Explorer (because of course they would since it's their product). Microsoft used their monopolistic control of the PC market to prevent other companies from putting out competing products. A storefront isn't a product. It's a place where you can sell products.

Apple allows Gmail and Google Maps on the iOS. If Apple wanted to put Apple Maps on the Google Play store they could do that. That means that this is nothing like the Apple vs Microsoft monopoly case. Apple doesn't control the market, but iOS was designed around a walled-garden, and them being forced to allow competing storefronts would also mean that developers could put their own storefronts on Playstation and Xbox. Both of those companies rely on their storefronts to make money. The consoles themselves either lose money, or they only make a tiny margin. This isn't monopolistic or anti-consumer. It's creating a product around a central idea, and this bill tells them they can't do that. This would effectively kill both Xbox and Playstation as their main revenue stream would dry up almost immediately after the bill passed and developers stopped paying them their 30% cut.

That is a huge point. Being a monopoly isn't illegal. Using that monopoly to stifle competition is. If Apple truly had a monopoly in the smartphone market and place conditions that apps could not be placed on any emerging competitor's stores then that would be illegal and subject to anti-trust laws. As it is, all these walled garden ecosystems are competing with other ecosystems.

From listening to a good chunk of the case, I think the argument isn' that Apple has a monopoly on the mobile phone market, it is that iOS is so significant in its adoption that it is effectively its own market and that Apple has a monopoly on that market.

The precedent that was being used in the case was a case against Kodak from the 90s in relation to photocopiers, this was because even though they never had a monopoly on the photocopier market, their customers were effectively locked-in to their ecosystem and unlikely to be able to switch (without significant financial investment). They were accused of controlling the access by third parties to supply parts and consumables.

Yeah, but outside of neither being actual market monopolies, the comparison falls apart quite a bit since the app market isn't dependent entirely on Apple at all. Microsoft's xCloud is proving that.
 
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Unknown?

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Gosh all this drama, glad I don't use iOS or stock Android. Screw Apple and Google!
 

reksveks

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That is a huge point. Being a monopoly isn't illegal. Using that monopoly to stifle competition is.

Think both YouTube Music and Apple music aren't competing fairly with the likes of Spotify. Just like Amazon Brands ain't competing fairly with the sellers on amazon.com.

We are not a duopoly…

Later… Apple and Google announce the “Chamber of Progress”: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy...ll-requiring-more-app-stores-and-sideloading/

You cannot make this shit up :LOL:.

Chamber of Progress vs Coalition of App Fairness makes for the saddest title. I did wonder who was behind that. If Microsoft are on it, will be disappointed.
 
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IFireflyl

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Not sure how to better explain switching cost but imagine if you couldn't move your contacts out of Imessage if you wanted to switch to android. That's a high switching cost that locks users into imessage and therefore iPhone.

More developers that have the ability the compete especially with the platform holders when they roll out their own services aka apple music or air tags leads to a more competitive market which should lead to better consumer outcomes. Yes, there are no guarantees but the market isn't logically all the time but you can assume that the more people trying to sell, the better the options for the people trying to buy.

I would be happy if we forced the companies to not compete with producers on their platform, Apple Music should be forced to compete fairly with Spotify.

COVERED COMPANY.—The term ‘‘Covered
Company’’ means any person that owns or controls
an App Store for which users in the United States
exceed 50,000,000

APP STORE.—The term ‘‘App Store’’ means a publicly available website, software application, or other electronic service that distributes Apps from third-party developers to users of a computer, a mobile device, or any other general purpose computing device.

This only impacts 3 maybe 4 companies.

Google - Play Store
Microsoft - Windows Store
Apple - App Store

Companies like Apple are forced to compete fairly with developers/producers/publishers on their platform. Apple Music does have to compete fairly with Spotify. If Apple were to not allow Spotify on iOS and force customer to use Apple Music or nothing, that would be an anti-trust violation. The storefront is literally the income source that the OS was developed around, and it doesn't prevent developers/producers/publishers from putting their competing product on iOS. It just means they have to pay Apple a cut, because that's how their entire business model is structured.

Also, this doesn't just impact Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Sony is also impacted, as is Nintendo. Furthermore, the bigger issue I have isn't that these companies are impacted. It's that every business with a storefront going forward would be subjected to this, and that could actually harm the consumer because a new console maker wouldn't be able to compete against Microsoft/Sony as they wouldn't be able to use the closed storefront that Microsoft and Sony were allowed to use to build their business in the first place. This legislation would remove the ability for future businesses to compete because Microsoft and Sony were able to get established without this legislation, and future companies would have to overcome the legislation from the onset. And honestly, I don't even think Microsoft and Sony would be able to release consoles in the future because their main revenue stream (their storefront) would be worthless when developers would just sell on their own storefront on those consoles.

From listening to a good chunk of the case, I think the argument isn' that Apple has a monopoly on the mobile phone market, it is that iOS is so significant in its adoption that it is effectively its own market and that Apple has a monopoly on that market.

The precedent that was being used in the case was a case against Kodak from the 90s in relation to photocopiers, this was because even though they never had a monopoly on the photocopier market, their customers were effectively locked-in to their ecosystem and unlikely to be able to switch (without significant financial investment). They were accused of controlling (and sometimes denying) access by third parties to supply parts and consumables.

But the problem with this is that Apple does NOT have a monopoly. Google has a greater market share than Apple, and Google actually allows sideloading apps, including other storefronts. Amazon has its own store for Android games/apps. Google doesn't make money from the games/apps that you purchase directly from Amazon. This proves that developers have an alternative to Apple, and since Android has a greater market share than Apple the claim that Apple has a monopoly is completely baseless.

Android maintained its position as the leading mobile operating system worldwide in June 2021, controlling the mobile OS market with a close to 73 percent share. Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS jointly possess over 99 percent of the global market share.

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics...-held-by-mobile-operating-systems-since-2009/
 

SomeGit

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Dude, don't bother replying if you're going to ignore the previous posts that already explain this. It's super annoying to have to repeat myself. As I already said, the Apple vs Microsoft monopoly was due to Microsoft having a monopoly in the x86-based PC OS market. Not due to it having a monopoly on Windows (because of course they would since it's their product) or on Internet Explorer (because of course they would since it's their product). Microsoft used their monopolistic control of the PC market to prevent other companies from putting out competing products. A storefront isn't a product. It's a place where you can sell products. Hiland Dairy has to pay Walmart a cut of the revenue from the milk that is sold in Walmart's storefront. Hiland Dairy can't just waltz into Walmart, set up their own kiosk, and then take money for the milk they sell without giving Walmart their cut.

Apple allows Gmail and Google Maps on the iOS. If Apple wanted to put Apple Maps on the Google Play store they could do that. That means that this is nothing like the Apple vs Microsoft monopoly case. Apple doesn't control the market, but iOS was designed around a walled-garden, and them being forced to allow competing storefronts would also mean that developers could put their own storefronts on Playstation and Xbox. Both Microsoft and Sony rely on their storefronts to make money. The consoles themselves either lose money, or they only make a tiny margin. This isn't monopolistic or anti-consumer. It's creating a product around a central idea, and this bill tells them they can't do that. This would effectively kill both Xbox and Playstation as their main revenue stream would dry up almost immediately after the bill passed and developers stopped paying them their 30% cut.
We've gotten used to it, but the idea that you buy a device and the OEM is the one that chooses what you can install on it is beyond archaic and will only lead bad business practices. If the bill passes and Sony and Microsoft have to adopt an open market for their hardware maybe it's the best thing for everyone. I never understood the Walmart analogy, you bought the device that isn't Apple's or Google this isn't Walmart space it's your, Walmart should not allow you to only pour Walmart juice into your cup just because you bought it there.
It's you mobile phone why should Apple or Google dictate what you can install on your device and hell, why should Microsoft or Sony dictate what you can install on your console.

The idea that you are forced to use only one storefront IS anti-consumer, the control of this is entirely taken away from the consumer and put into the OEM.
 
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Bojanglez

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That is a huge point. Being a monopoly isn't illegal. Using that monopoly to stifle competition is. If Apple truly had a monopoly in the smartphone market and place conditions that apps could not be placed on any emerging competitor's stores then that would be illegal and subject to anti-trust laws. As it is, all these walled garden ecosystems are competing with other ecosystems.



Yeah, but outside of neither being actual market monopolies, the comparison falls apart quite a bit since the app market isn't dependent entirely on Apple at all. Microsoft's xCloud is proving that.
Like I said, the argument being used isn't about the 'app market'. It is about the size of the iOS market irrespective of other app marketplaces existing on other devices (phone or otherwise), the dependency of people on iOS to perform daily activities that are required in modern society and the practices to control that significant market by restricting third party access and using tactics to 'lock-in' customers.

I have no idea if legally it holds any ground, the precedent of Kodak seems to suggest there might be an argument, but whether the judge agrees who knows.
 

reksveks

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Companies like Apple are forced to compete fairly with developers/producers/publishers on their platform. Apple Music does have to compete fairly with Spotify.

1) Apple is not taking a 30% cut from Apple music when you sign up so they could always undercut Spotify whenever they want
2) Spotify aren't able to stick a sign up now CTA in the Apple Settings UI like Apple can
3) Apple doesn't even listen to its own rules about not using notifications about promotions.

It's not a fair competition.

Do you think iphone isn't profitable without the store? I think that hardware is profitable enough for both the os and the store.
 
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IFireflyl

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We've gotten used to it, but the idea that you buy a device and the OEM is the one that chooses what you can install on it is beyond archaic and will only lead bad business practices. If the bill passes and Sony and Microsoft have to adopt an open market for their hardware maybe it's the best thing for everyone. I never understood the Walmart analogy, you bought the device that isn't Apple's or Google this isn't Walmart space it's your, Walmart should not allow you to only pour Walmart juice into your cup just because you bought it there.
It's you mobile phone why should Apple or Google dictate what you can install on your device and hell, why should Microsoft or Sony dictate what you can install on your console.

The idea that you are forced to use only one storefront IS anti-consumer, the control of this is entirely taken away from the consumer and put into the OEM.

It will not be best for us if this bill passes. Microsoft and Sony, and Nintendo to an extent, are major competitors in the gaming market. This legislation will kill a good chunk of their revenue stream. How do you think the consumer is going to benefit when you remove around a third (if not more) of the revenue stream from Microsoft/Sony? What business loses a huge amount of money, and then goes on to be more innovated and competitive while continuing to make less money?

Also, the Walmart analogy does work. You're just seeing the device's OS as yours, but it isn't. The OS is licensed software, not owned software. When you buy an iOS or Android device you don't own the OS, and you're not free to do with the OS as you please. Another way to look at this is buying an eBook. You would be licensing the book. You cannot freely distribute the eBook to people unless the terms of the license allows that (usually this would only be allowed for books that are already free). I do understand your confusion, but it is a common misconception that you are allowed to do whatever you want with the OS, and that is simply not true. You don't own it, you only license it. And legally, you have to adhere to the terms of the license agreement. Apple's license agreement says that other storefronts cannot be installed.
 

reksveks

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Also, this doesn't just impact Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Sony is also impacted, as is Nintendo. Furthermore, the bigger issue I have isn't that these companies are impacted. It's that every business with a storefront going forward would be subjected to this, and that could actually harm the consumer because a new console maker

APP STORE.—The term ‘‘App Store’’ means a publicly available website, software application, or other electronic service that distributes Apps from third-party developers to users of a computer, a mobile device, or any other general purpose computing device.

I suspect that excluding a games console but will need to double check, also a new company won't have to worry until they hit 50,000,000 store users in the US.

Anyone know the number of MAU users Sony has in the US? I know the total is 106m. I can only find some on • PlayStation 4 sales by region 2021 | Statista which suggests its 38.31m
 
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Bojanglez

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Companies like Apple are forced to compete fairly with developers/producers/publishers on their platform. Apple Music does have to compete fairly with Spotify. If Apple were to not allow Spotify on iOS and force customer to use Apple Music or nothing, that would be an anti-trust violation. The storefront is literally the income source that the OS was developed around, and it doesn't prevent developers/producers/publishers from putting their competing product on iOS. It just means they have to pay Apple a cut, because that's how their entire business model is structured.

Also, this doesn't just impact Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Sony is also impacted, as is Nintendo. Furthermore, the bigger issue I have isn't that these companies are impacted. It's that every business with a storefront going forward would be subjected to this, and that could actually harm the consumer because a new console maker wouldn't be able to compete against Microsoft/Sony as they wouldn't be able to use the closed storefront that Microsoft and Sony were allowed to use to build their business in the first place. This legislation would remove the ability for future businesses to compete because Microsoft and Sony were able to get established without this legislation, and future companies would have to overcome the legislation from the onset. And honestly, I don't even think Microsoft and Sony would be able to release consoles in the future because their main revenue stream (their storefront) would be worthless when developers would just sell on their own storefront on those consoles.



But the problem with this is that Apple does NOT have a monopoly. Google has a greater market share than Apple, and Google actually allows sideloading apps, including other storefronts. Amazon has its own store for Android games/apps. Google doesn't make money from the games/apps that you purchase directly from Amazon. This proves that developers have an alternative to Apple, and since Android has a greater market share than Apple the claim that Apple has a monopoly is completely baseless.



Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics...-held-by-mobile-operating-systems-since-2009/
Read what I said, look at the precedent I cited. It is not about a monopoly on the 'phone market'. I'm fully aware of how many Android devices there are.

More info on the Kodak case: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastman_Kodak_Co._v._Image_Technical_Services,_Inc.

A few quotes from the supreme court

In relation to 'monopoly' of the after market
Kodak's proposed rule rests on a factual assumption about the cross-elasticity of demand in the equipment and aftermarkets: "If Kodak raised its parts or service prices above competitive levels, potential customers would simply stop buying Kodak equipment. Perhaps Kodak would be able to increase short term profits through such a strategy, but at a devastating cost to its long term interests."Kodak argues that the Court should accept, as a matter of law, this "basic economic realit[y]" that competition in the equipment market necessarily prevents market power in the aftermarkets.
Even if Kodak could not raise the price of service and parts one cent without losing equipment sales, that fact would not disprove market power in the aftermarkets. The sales of even a monopolist are reduced when it sells goods at a monopoly price, but the higher price more than compensates for the loss in sales. Kodak's claim that charging more for service and parts would be "a short-run game" is based on the false dichotomy that there are only two prices that can be charged—a competitive price or a ruinous one.

In relation to 'lock-in':
If the cost of switching is high, consumers who already have purchased the equipment, and are thus "locked in," will tolerate some level of service-price increases before changing equipment brands. Under this scenario, a seller profitably could maintain supracompetitive prices in the aftermarket if the switching costs were high relative to the increase in service prices, and the number of locked-in customers were high relative to the number of new purchasers
 
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IFireflyl

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1) Apple is not taking a 30% cut from Apple music when you sign up so they could always undercut Spotify whenever they want
2) Spotify aren't able to stick a sign up now CTA in the Apple Settings UI like Apple can
3) Apple doesn't even listen to its own rules about not using notifications about promotions.

It's not a fair competition.

Do you think iphone isn't profitable without the store? I think that hardware is profitable enough for both the os and the store.

1) Spotify doesn't allow you pay for premium through iOS. So Spotify isn't paying Apple anything, other than the fee to list the app in the App Store.
2) No idea what this means.
3) This is very vague and unless you give me an example I have no idea what this means, or how this applies to Spotify.
 

phil_t98

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Apple has a Monopoly on IOS.
Google has a Monopoly on Android outside China.
Both have a Duopoly on ARM based Mobile OS.

Always depends what angle you look at.
Sony has a monopoly on playstation

Microsoft has a monopoly on xbox

this case will have further reaching effects where you watch they will want the ability to bypass the market places on consoles to
 

SomeGit

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It will not be best for us if this bill passes. Microsoft and Sony, and Nintendo to an extent, are major competitors in the gaming market. This legislation will kill a good chunk of their revenue stream. How do you think the consumer is going to benefit when you remove around a third (if not more) of the revenue stream from Microsoft/Sony? What business loses a huge amount of money, and then goes on to be more innovated and competitive while continuing to make less money?
That revenue has to come from somewhere, it doesn't materialize out of thin air so it eventually reaches the consumer or the developers. The difference is that you are not paying upfront, but over the lifetime of the device you are going paying for it.
MS and Sony aren't doing consoles with the kindness of their hearts.

Historically the biggest innovation haven't come from first parties, hell look at who makes the hardware for the current gen consoles Nvidia and AMD. Great innovation there.

Also, the Walmart analogy does work. You're just seeing the device's OS as yours, but it isn't. The OS is licensed software, not owned software. When you buy an iOS or Android device you don't own the OS, and you're not free to do with the OS as you please. Another way to look at this is buying an eBook. You would be licensing the book. You cannot freely distribute the eBook to people unless the terms of the license allows that (usually this would only be allowed for books that are already free). I do understand your confusion, but it is a common misconception that you are allowed to do whatever you want with the OS, and that is simply not true. You don't own it, you only license it. And legally, you have to adhere to the terms of the license agreement. Apple's license agreement says that other storefronts cannot be installed.
Okay, then I can install my own OS (or Linux) then? Oh wait they don't allow that. Don't bring licenses into this, EULA aren't not very legal proof and jailbreaking and homebrew are legal in the US.
The eBook example is a bad one, because you are buying physical hardware, can I not sell a book I own regardless of what the publisher thinks?

1) Spotify doesn't allow you pay for premium through iOS. So Spotify isn't paying Apple anything, other than the fee to list the app in the App Store.
2) No idea what this means.
3) This is very vague and unless you give me an example I have no idea what this means, or how this applies to Spotify.
They don't allow you to pay Premium on iOS because they would either pay 30% to Apple or have to increase it to 12,99$, you see the problem?
 
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IFireflyl

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Read what I said, look at the precedent I cited. It is not about a monopoly on the 'phone market'. I'm fully aware of how many Android devices there are.

More info on the Kodak case: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastman_Kodak_Co._v._Image_Technical_Services,_Inc.

A few quotes from the supreme court

In relation to 'monopoly' of the after market


In relation to 'lock-in':

I know what you're citing. This doesn't apply here. The precedent you're using is referring to hardware, not software.

The Ninth Circuit said there were two main issues: "First, Kodak will not sell replacement parts for its equipment to Kodak equipment owners unless they agree not to use ISOs. Second, Kodak will not knowingly sell replacement parts to ISOs." The court added, "Kodak admits that the purpose of these policies is to prevent ISOs from competing with Kodak's own service organization for the repair of Kodak equipment."

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastman_Kodak_Co._v._Image_Technical_Services,_Inc.

The issue we are dealing with is software, not hardware, and Apple isn't using their walled-garden OS to squash competing products. They're just collecting a cut of in-app purchases. Companies like Spotify get around this by not allowing Premium to be purchased through the App Store. This means that Apple is NOT preventing companies from releasing their product on iOS while still getting 100% of the revenue (minus whatever their card/payment processor charges).
 

Bojanglez

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1) Apple is not taking a 30% cut from Apple music when you sign up so they could always undercut Spotify whenever they want
2) Spotify aren't able to stick a sign up now CTA in the Apple Settings UI like Apple can
3) Apple doesn't even listen to its own rules about not using notifications about promotions.

It's not a fair competition.

Do you think iphone isn't profitable without the store? I think that hardware is profitable enough for both the os and the store.
Yes, this was another argument made in the case. There was lots of evidence that the hardware is sold at a profit and therefore they are (and never have been) reliant on app store revenue. They showed that when Apple finally allowed third parties to make iOS apps (which they denied initially) they didn't expect it to ever get as big as it did, they even used quotes by Steve Jobs stating that they didn't necessarily expect it to even be a $1Bn industry (in 2020 iOS App Store was worth $72bn).
 

reinking

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When you get a PC and buy a game from steam, where is the microsoft cut? You are using windows aren't you?
Same thing. Phones are computers. Multipurpose devices.

i really don't get how anyone can side with apple on this. well i do understand why, because for some irrational reason people hate tim sweeney.
MS gets a cut from the OS sale. A device and operating system are very different things.
 
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Bojanglez

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I know what you're citing. This doesn't apply here. The precedent you're using is referring to hardware, not software.



Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastman_Kodak_Co._v._Image_Technical_Services,_Inc.

The issue we are dealing with is software, not hardware, and Apple isn't using their walled-garden OS to squash competing products. They're just collecting a cut of in-app purchases. Companies like Spotify get around this by not allowing Premium to be purchased through the App Store. This means that Apple is NOT preventing companies from releasing their product on iOS while still getting 100% of the revenue (minus whatever their card/payment processor charges).
Does antitrust law differentiate between hardware and software? (serious question I don't know)

I would imagine for it to be cited in the court case, it must have some weight?

Anyway, I have no skin in the game. I'm just commenting on what was stated in the court case and giving some perspective. I'm not a legal expert, so I bow to your greater legal knowledge.
 

reksveks

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1) Spotify doesn't allow you pay for premium through iOS. So Spotify isn't paying Apple anything, other than the fee to list the app in the App Store.
2) No idea what this means.
3) This is very vague and unless you give me an example I have no idea what this means, or how this applies to Spotify.
1) If Spotify premium was 10 quid on ios per month,, the total cost was 8.5 quid including the 30% cut. Apple could easily charge users 7 quid and since they aren't charging themselves, they would still have a profitable business however Spotify would not at that price. This isn't competing fairly imo.
2) In the main settings page of your iPhone, you are very likely see some call to action to sign up to either Apple Music or Apple TV
3) I will try and find an example of this.
 
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reksveks

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Sony has a monopoly on playstation

Microsoft has a monopoly on xbox

this case will have further reaching effects where you watch they will want the ability to bypass the market places on consoles to
case or the proposed legislation, i suspect the case will go apple's way for most part.
 
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IFireflyl

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That revenue has to come from somewhere, it doesn't materialize out of thin air so it eventually reaches the consumer or the developers. The difference is that you are not paying upfront, but over the lifetime of the device you are going paying for it.
MS and Sony aren't doing consoles with the kindness of their hearts.

Historically the biggest innovation haven't come from first parties, hell look at who makes the hardware for the current gen consoles Nvidia and AMD. Great innovation there.


Okay, then I can install my own OS (or Linux) then? Oh wait they don't allow that. Don't bring licenses into this, EULA aren't not very legal proof and jailbreaking and homebrew are legal in the US.
The eBook example is a bad one, because you are buying physical hardware, can I not sell a book I own regardless of what the publisher thinks?


They don't allow you to pay Premium on iOS because they would either pay 30% to Apple or have to increase it to 12,99$, you see the problem?

I already said the developers would see the increased revenue, but that doesn't help us consumers. We have seen time and time again that when a developer gets more money that doesn't trickle down to lower prices for the consumer. Just look at how digital games cost as much as physical games even though the developer is making more from the digital game.

Also, you can install your own OS on an Android or iPhone, assuming you have the skills to make it work with the existing hardware. They don't want you to do that, but it isn't illegal to do so (if you have the expertise). What you failed to understand is that I said you can't do whatever you would like with their OS, because that OS is only licensed to you, not yours to do with as you wish. There is no basis to your claim that EULAs aren't legal. There are plenty of instances of an EULA being held up in court.

The eBook example is not a bad one, but you seemed to not understand the above point that you are buying the hardware of the iPhone/Android device, but you do not own the software. Just like you can buy the hardware for an e-reader, but you don't own the actual eBook. You can't re-sell that eBook (licensed digital content) like you could the e-reader (hardware).

And no, I don't see the problem with Spotify and Apple's 30% cut. The developer had a choice to make. Do they allow in-app purchases and give Apple 30%, or do they remove in-app purchases and force customers to pay through their website while keeping the entire amount of the sale (minus the fee for their card/payment processor, which is less than 30%) for themselves? They opted for the later. The fact that they can do this shows that Apple isn't being too restrictive with their App Store. The developers still have options for releasing content on the App Store AND keeping most/all of the amount of the sale. This flies in the face of the lawsuit in question where Epic is claiming they have no alternative. They do! They just don't want to pay to build their own storefront outside of iOS that allows cross-platform integration, and instead they want to force Apple to let them do whatever they want inside of Apple's licensed software.
 

IFireflyl

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1) If Spotify premium was 10 quid on ios per month,, the total cost was 8.5 quid including the 30% cut. Apple could easily charge users 7 quid and since they aren't charging themselves, they would still have a profitable business however Spotify would not at that price. This isn't competing fairly imo.
2) In the main settings page of your iPhone, you are very likely see some call to action to sign up to either Apple Music or Apple TV
3) I will try and find an example of this.

1) This does not matter. Spotify found a simple way to bypass Apple's 30% cut while not breaking the terms of their licensing agreement. This means that Apple Music and Spotify are both on iOS, and they both are avoiding the 30% cut. Both of them only have to pay their card/payment processor for transaction processing (which is usually 1-5% depending on the processor).
2) That has nothing to do with the legislation we're talking about as this issue wouldn't be impacted by this legislation. Therefore it is irrelevant to the issue at hand.
 

reksveks

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1) This does not matter. Spotify found a simple way to bypass Apple's 30% cut while not breaking the terms of their licensing agreement. This means that Apple Music and Spotify are both on iOS, and they both are avoiding the 30% cut. Both of them only have to pay their card/payment processor for transaction processing (which is usually 1-5% depending on the processor).
2) That has nothing to do with the legislation we're talking about as this issue wouldn't be impacted by this legislation. Therefore it is irrelevant to the issue at hand.
1) Spotify are one of the few big companies that could get users to jump off platform (without highlighting that fact to the user cause you are unable to mention that) to sign up like Amazon or Netflix. Other small companies aren't and even when they try like Hey, they get complained about.

2) I was referring to the fact that someone said they are competing fairly with app developers, they aren't.

I am still trying to figure out if the consoles are applicable in both definitions of general computing devices or the number of users.

Interestingly, the bill wants to prevent the anti-steering moves that Apple gets complained about and Google has or is implemented.

INTERFERENCE WITH LEGITIMATE BUSINESS
COMMUNICATIONS.—A Covered Company shall not impose restrictions on communications of developers with the users of the App through an App or direct outreach to a user concerning legitimate business offers, such as pricing terms and product or service offerings
 
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SomeGit

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I already said the developers would see the increased revenue, but that doesn't help us consumers. We have seen time and time again that when a developer gets more money that doesn't trickle down to lower prices for the consumer. Just look at how digital games cost as much as physical games even though the developer is making more from the digital game.
You do, digital games get more significant discounts compared to physical. Digital prices are often priced the same because of existing deals with physical stores.
In any case look at the price of PC titles, they are usually cheaper than console titles and get more discounts so these do trickle down.

Also, you can install your own OS on an Android or iPhone, assuming you have the skills to make it work with the existing hardware. They don't want you to do that, but it isn't illegal to do so (if you have the expertise). What you failed to understand is that I said you can't do whatever you would like with their OS, because that OS is only licensed to you, not yours to do with as you wish.
I cannot install an alternative OS on iOS because Apple has checks in place to not allow that, since their bootloader is locked.

What you failed to understand is that I said you can't do whatever you would like with their OS, because that OS is only licensed to you, not yours to do with as you wish. There is no basis to your claim that EULAs aren't legal. There are plenty of instances of an EULA being held up in court.
Name them, EULAs are very flimsy and usually aren't legally binding as they are seen as shrink wrapped contracts.
You are allowed to legally modify the OS, homebrew and jailbreaking are legal there is not crime to modifying the software. At most you cannot sell modified OS, but are legal allowed to modify it yourself and legally allowed to distribute software that target modified devices.


The eBook example is not a bad one, but you seemed to not understand the above point that you are buying the hardware of the iPhone/Android device, but you do not own the software. Just like you can buy the hardware for an e-reader, but you don't own the actual eBook. You can't re-sell that eBook (licensed digital content) like you could the e-reader (hardware).
You are allowed legally to sell digital licenses in EU, again EULA aren't legally binding.


We don't do it because we are not allowed to transfer licenses, like I can't transfer my Steam copy of DMC5 since Valve doesn't offer me that option not because it's legal or not, in any case this discussion isn't the same as modifying or altering existing software, which is why the eBook example is bad because it really doesn't match what you are trying to argue, which is modification or installation or unauthorized software, not ownership of digital licenses. The 2 are separate ideas.
And no, I don't see the problem with Spotify and Apple's 30% cut. The developer had a choice to make. Do they allow in-app purchases and give Apple 30%, or do they remove in-app purchases and force customers to pay through their website while keeping the entire amount of the sale (minus the fee for their card/payment processor, which is less than 30%) for themselves? They opted for the later. The fact that they can do this shows that Apple isn't being too restrictive with their App Store. The developers still have options for releasing content on the App Store AND keeping most/all of the amount of the sale. This flies in the face of the lawsuit in question where Epic is claiming they have no alternative. They do! They just don't want to pay to build their own storefront outside of iOS that allows cross-platform integration, and instead they want to force Apple to let them do whatever they want inside of Apple's licensed software.
The problem is that Apple sells a competing service while not having to do revenue share with not-Apple and/or not having to scrap signup pages from their Apple Music app, saying that they compete in same way is either naive or idiotic.
 
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IFireflyl

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Does antitrust law differentiate between hardware and software? (serious question I don't know)

I would imagine for it to be cited in the court case, it must have some weight?

Anyway, I have no skin in the game. I'm just commenting on what was stated in the court case and giving some perspective. I'm not a legal expert, so I bow to your greater legal knowledge.

If it seemed like I'm a legal expert, I apologize. I am definitely not a lawyer.

The antitrust laws proscribe unlawful mergers and business practices in general terms, leaving courts to decide which ones are illegal based on the facts of each case. Courts have applied the antitrust laws to changing markets, from a time of horse and buggies to the present digital age. Yet for over 100 years, the antitrust laws have had the same basic objective: to protect the process of competition for the benefit of consumers, making sure there are strong incentives for businesses to operate efficiently, keep prices down, and keep quality up.

Source: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/antitrust-laws

The Kodak case was a blatant anti-consumer action because it prevented businesses from being able to purchase Kodak hardware needed to fix consumer products without first agreeing that the business wouldn't purchase a competitors product. That hurt customers because if you had a non-Kodak piece of equipment it made it more difficult to find the parts to fix that equipment.

By contrast, Apple's App Store isn't preventing competing companies from operating on the iOS (for example, Spotify is a direct competitor or Apple Music, but it is still allowed on iOS). Apple just has a license agreement that says, "If you use our App Store for purchases we get a cut." Developers can still make sales outside of the App Store, and Spotify did just that with Spotify Premium. They have their app on the iOS, and they aren't paying the 30% cut to Apple. Also, that 30% cut doesn't negatively impact customers. You could argue that the prices are 30% higher to get around that, but if you go to Walmart or Best Buy and use your credit card VISA and MasterCard are also getting a cut (although it is around 1-5% instead of 30%), and nobody is calling that an anti-customer move.
 
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Bojanglez

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The issue we are dealing with is software, not hardware, and Apple isn't using their walled-garden OS to squash competing products. They're just collecting a cut of in-app purchases. Companies like Spotify get around this by not allowing Premium to be purchased through the App Store. This means that Apple is NOT preventing companies from releasing their product on iOS while still getting 100% of the revenue (minus whatever their card/payment processor charges).

This is the exact market manipulation and anti-competitive practices that the case is relating to.

Spotify are essentially forced to not use the payment methods that they use on all other markets because Apple have arbitrarily not allowed them to.

Spotify are not allowed to advertise the fact that you can sign up for a premium package via their website in the iOS app because Apple have arbitrarily not allowed them to.

If Shopify used Apple IAP they lose all control of customer service (App devs can't refund themselves for Apple IAP sales). Why should an App developer put their reputation in the hands of incompetent staff at Apple that rule by algorithm or a handbook with no common sense.

Why shouldn't an app developer use whatever means they want to take payments within their app?

Why is it OK for physical goods to be sold by apps that use other payment methods but not digital?
 

Bojanglez

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If it seemed like I'm a legal expert, I apologize. I am definitely not a lawyer.



Source: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/antitrust-laws

The Kodak case was a blatant anti-consumer action because it prevented businesses from being able to purchase Kodak hardware needed to fix consumer products without first agreeing that the business wouldn't purchase a competitors product. That hurt customers because if you had a non-Kodak piece of equipment it made it more difficult to find the parts to fix that equipment.

By contrast, Apple's App Store isn't preventing competing companies from operating on the iOS (for example, Spotify is a direct competitor or Apple Music, but it is still allowed on iOS). Apple just has a license agreement that says, "If you use our App Store for purchases we get a cut." Developers can still make sales outside of the App Store, and Spotify did just that with Spotify Premium. They have their app on the iOS, and they aren't paying the 30% cut to Apple. Also, that 30% cut doesn't negatively impact customers. You could argue that the prices are 30% higher to get around that, but if you go to Walmart or Best Buy and use your credit card VISA and MasterCard are also getting a cut (although it is around 1-5% instead of 30%), and nobody is calling that an anti-customer move.
By taking the 30% cut Apple also assume all customer support issues relating to that payment. The developer is unable to issue refunds or discounts themselves. That has the ability to massively impact customers (and a developer's reputation).
 

IFireflyl

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You do, digital games get more significant discounts compared to physical. Digital prices are often priced the same because of deal with physical stores.

A brand new digital game costs the exact same as a brand new physical game. Sales are a different beast altogether, but you normally see a lower price during sales with digital versus physical, although this is not always the case. Sales are generally storefront specific, meaning a sale at Walmart doesn't mean the same sale is at Best Buy, or on Steam. What that means is that a game in Best Buy could be 10% off, while the same game on Steam is still full price.

I cannot install an alternative OS on iOS because Apple has checks in place to not allow that, since their bootloader is locked.

You are not legally prevented from installing another OS on an iPhone, you just don't have the expertise to do so. That's what I said from the beginning. So long as you have the expertise to get around their checks, and to create or use an existing OS that works with the iPhone's hardware, you are not legally prevented from installing the other OS.

Name them, EULAs aren't are very flimsy and usually aren't legally binding as they are seen as shrink wrapped contracts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizo...urers_Ass'n_Inc._v._Lexmark_International_Inc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Corp._v._Harmony_Computers_&_Electronics,_Inc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ProCD,_Inc._v._Zeidenberg

You are allowed legally to sell digital licenses in EU and US, again EULA aren't legally binding.


This only applies to the EU, and not the US. Also, you keep making the claim that EULAs aren't legally binding, but that isn't an accurate statement (see my above response to where EULAs were upheld).

We don't do it because we are not allowed to transfer licenses, like I can't transfer my Steam copy of DMC5 since Valve doesn't offer me that option not because it's legal or not, in any case this discussion isn't the same as modifying or altering existing software, which is why the eBook example is bad because it really doesn't match what you are trying to argue, which is modification or installation or unauthorized software, not ownership of digital licenses. The 2 are separate ideas.

My eBook analogy was valid, you're just changing the verbiage to make it seem invalid. At no point did I say you were unable to modify or alter existing software. What I said is that the OS is licensed, and you are only allowed to do what the software license allows you to do (assuming the software license is adhering your local laws). An eBook generally has a license that says that you cannot resell or re-distribute the eBook. Most OSs have the same clause in their software license. If you distribute a purchased eBook with a license agreement that says you cannot redistribute it or resell it, and then you either distribute it via P2P or end up selling it on your own store, that is illegal. It's called piracy, and people have been taken to court (and lost) over this. That is why torrent sites get closed down and their owners are arrested. The same applies to movies and TV shows. If you pirate them (as the receiver or the distributor) you can face jail time, a fine, or both.

The problem is that Apple sells a competing service while not having to do revenue share with not-Apple and/or not having to scrap signup pages from their Apple Music app, saying that they compete in same way is either naive or idiotic.

I never said they compete in the same way. I said that this specific issue of the 30% cut is proven to be a non-issue as Spotify is on iOS, and they don't allow Spotify Premium to be purchased via an in-app purchase which would result in them having to pay Apple a 30% cut. This means that the issue regarding Apple using monopoly powers to force a high cut of profits with no alternative to the developers is false. Spotify is doing it. Epic Games could do the same thing, but instead of telling customers to go their their Epic account on their website, they altered the in-app purchase system to bypass Apple's App Store, and that is where the violation came in. Epic has a workaround available, but they are refusing to implement the workaround, and instead are pretending that Apple is allowing them no other alternative.
 

Sean Mirrsen

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The problem with trying to "crack open" naturally closed integrated platforms, is that you're taking sometimes the only major revenue source from the platform developers and maintainers, which will lead to any combination of several things as the platform developers are forced to try and maintain their profits.

1) Costs will be cut. This will result in poorer quality services, less pay and benefits for workers, fewer jobs offered. Some satellite companies may be closed entirely, less promising projects will be canceled, fewer risks will be taken.
2) Platform entry costs will be increased. To offset the losses on software, the costs of hardware will be increased to be more profitable, among other things.
3) Service costs and conditions will worsen. Monetization is likely to change broadly as a result of being denied reliable software profit from the platform, resulting in more predatory profit-seeking tactics on many fronts.

Overall, I see next to no positives for the average user of the platform in question, long-term. Short term benefit will be there as you'll get to use the current platform the way you see fit (or, well, violate its corpse, as it were), but at the cost of severely hampering the platform itself, to the point where it may potentially cease offering its key benefits entirely, as there's no point when it makes for no profit. It's a "fish from the lake for ages vs. blow up the lake and collect the dead fish once" sort of situation.

The way I see it, it's far better to force these platforms to enforce interoperability, than force them to be open. Reduce the cost of switching to something else, have iOS and Android have a shared data structure that lets a user migrate their contacts, messages, and anything else, between platforms seamlessly. Export on one side, import on the other. Extend it to consoles if you wish, force cross-buy for cross-platform titles. It will still be far preferable, long term, to consumers, creators, and platform owners both, than the integrated platforms being forced to open to being used by anyone.
 
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IFireflyl

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By taking the 30% cut Apple also assume all customer support issues relating to that payment. The developer is unable to issue refunds or discounts themselves. That has the ability to massively impact customers (and a developer's reputation).

Apple's unwillingness to let developers offer refund is not the issue at hand, though. If someone wants to present legislation to allow the developer to have more control over the refund process of THEIR product, that I could get behind. That wouldn't hurt the customer, or the developer, or the storefront. My issue is with the legislation to force storefronts on a product that was designed around a single storefront. Again, not because of big tech. They can all get bent. It's because it has potentially far-reaching consequences for new businesses.
 
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reksveks

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They can all get bent. It's because it has potentially far-reaching consequences for new businesses.
The legislation is very specific that its not going to impact a huge number of businesses unless you expect a huge explosion of platform holders with an app store on mobile or other general purpose computing device that also has 50m users in the US.

I don't personally believe that's going to happen.
 
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SomeGit

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A brand new digital game costs the exact same as a brand new physical game. Sales are a different beast altogether, but you normally see a lower price during sales with digital versus physical, although this is not always the case. Sales are generally storefront specific, meaning a sale at Walmart doesn't mean the same sale is at Best Buy, or on Steam. What that means is that a game in Best Buy could be 10% off, while the same game on Steam is still full price.
They cost the same because retailers would not stock a title that is 50% cheaper digital, but when the retail phase ends and the prices go down they go down heavier in digital titles and even heavier into

You are not legally prevented from installing another OS on an iPhone, you just don't have the expertise to do so. That's what I said from the beginning. So long as you have the expertise to get around their checks, and to create or use an existing OS that works with the iPhone's hardware, you are not legally prevented from installing the other OS.
Again, fine but what I'm saying is that realistically I cannot install an alt OS on an iPhone. My only recourse is iOS.


EULA aren't legally binding, they can be upheld, but they are not seen with the same weight as a signed contract. Even in your examples, you can see that the conclusions evoke licensing law rather than the EULA.
EULA can be legally enforceable, but it's not legally binding, the 2 are different concepts.

Just because an EULA say you cannot modify you software does not make it legally enforceable, because you are allowed by law to do so.

My eBook analogy was valid, you're just changing the verbiage to make it seem invalid. At no point did I say you were unable to modify or alter existing software. What I said is that the OS is licensed, and you are only allowed to do what the software license allows you to do (assuming the software license is adhering your local laws). An eBook generally has a license that says that you cannot resell or re-distribute the eBook. Most OSs have the same clause in their software license. If you distribute a purchased eBook with a license agreement that says you cannot redistribute it or resell it, and then you either distribute it via P2P or end up selling it on your own store, that is illegal. It's called piracy, and people have been taken to court (and lost) over this. That is why torrent sites get closed down and their owners are arrested. The same applies to movies and TV shows. If you pirate them (as the receiver or the distributor) you can face jail time, a fine, or both.
But this is the key issue here, modification of your software or installation of 3rd party alternatives is what we are discussing, which is why the eBook example is awful. We are discussing installing "unauthorized" software into a console or phone. I still don't understand why you are moving into digital licensing transfer that is a whole separate discussion.

I am allowed to sell eBooks to modified eBook readers.

I never said they compete in the same way. I said that this specific issue of the 30% cut is proven to be a non-issue as Spotify is on iOS, and they don't allow Spotify Premium to be purchased via an in-app purchase which would result in them having to pay Apple a 30% cut. This means that the issue regarding Apple using monopoly powers to force a high cut of profits with no alternative to the developers is false. Spotify is doing it. Epic Games could do the same thing, but instead of telling customers to go their their Epic account on their website, they altered the in-app purchase system to bypass Apple's App Store, and that is where the violation came in. Epic has a workaround available, but they are refusing to implement the workaround, and instead are pretending that Apple is allowing them no other alternative.
Then you do agree it's unfair competition.
 
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IFireflyl

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This is the exact market manipulation and anti-competitive practices that the case is relating to.

Spotify are essentially forced to not use the payment methods that they use on all other markets because Apple have arbitrarily not allowed them to.

Spotify are not allowed to advertise the fact that you can sign up for a premium package via their website in the iOS app because Apple have arbitrarily not allowed them to.

If Shopify used Apple IAP they lose all control of customer service (App devs can't refund themselves for Apple IAP sales). Why should an App developer put their reputation in the hands of incompetent staff at Apple that rule by algorithm or a handbook with no common sense.

Why shouldn't an app developer use whatever means they want to take payments within their app?

Why is it OK for physical goods to be sold by apps that use other payment methods but not digital?

I missed this before, sorry! The problem with this thread is that we have two separate subjects going on, and it's hard to keep straight what we're for and against sometimes.

Apple definitely has anti-competitive practices that need to be addressed via legislation. All big tech does.

My issue with Epic Games is that they didn't just say, "Go to our website and make the purchase there instead." The released an update that literally bypassed the entire in-app purchase method that all apps are required to use for in-app purchases. They broke the license agreement with Apple intentionally, and they had alternatives.

Now, if they had just put a message in the app saying, "Visit our website," or even a link that redirected them to their website, that would be one thing. The issue is that the in-app purchase was there, but Apple was cut out entirely which they see as a security risk. Basically, Apple is saying that since they have a walled garden they need to oversee the sensitive transactions such as a purchase in order to protect consumers from being ripped off by shady developers. Epic Games isn't a nobody developer, but they still broke the rules, and in a way that I completely understand where Apple's frustration comes from (as did the judge who literally screamed at Epic, "That’s the security issue!").

If Apple isn't even letting developers say, "Hey, go to our website for purchases," I'm completely behind legislation for that. My issue is solely with the legislation that says walled gardens can't exist, and that is what Epic is trying to bypass. That won't help consumers or the businesses with the walled gardens. It will only help developers, and developers have proven time and time again that when they save money they don't pass those savings onto the consumers. So consumers should NOT be backing Epic because it will hurt the walled-gardens that we actually do enjoy (looking at Xbox and Playstation), and we also won't be seeing a penny from those savings.
 

IFireflyl

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They cost the same because retailers would not stock a title that is 50% cheaper digital, but when the retail phase ends and the prices go down they go down heavier in digital titles and even heavier into


Again, fine but what I'm saying is that realistically I cannot install an alt OS on an iPhone. My only recourse is iOS.



EULA aren't legally binding, they can be upheld, but they are not seen with the same weight as a signed contract. Even in your examples, you can see that


But this is the key issue here, modification of your software or installation of 3rd party alternatives is what we are discussing, which is why the eBook example is awful. We are discussing installing "unauthorized" software into a console or phone. I still don't understand why you are moving into digital licensing transfer that is a whole separate discussion.

I am allowed to sell eBooks to modified eBook readers.


Then you do agree it's unfair competition.

I get it. You love Epic. "EULAs aren't legally binding, but they can be upheld." If it's upheld in a court of law, that means it was legally binding. Also, you're not allowed to freely distribute eBooks and movies in the U.S. Maybe you're from some other country that doesn't have anti-piracy laws, but I'm in the U.S. and everything I've been saying is directed at people in the U.S. (which is where Apple and Epic are both located). Twist my words, and take things out of context all you want. I'm done responding to you as this isn't a good faith argument. You just want to be right, and that's infuriating.
 

SomeGit

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I get it. You love Epic. "EULAs aren't legally binding, but they can be upheld."
Legally binding and legally enforceable are 2 separate ideas. EULA can be legally enforceable if found valid, if not they aren't hence they aren't legally binding. Get it?

If Apple put a clause saying "By accepting this EULA you are donating your first born child to Apple Inc.", do you think it's legally binding?
If it's upheld in a court of law, that means it was legally binding. Also, you're not allowed to freely distribute eBooks and movies in the U.S. Maybe you're from some other country that doesn't have anti-piracy laws, but I'm in the U.S. and everything I've been saying is directed at people in the U.S. (which is where Apple and Epic are both located).
An so is modification of the OS and 3rd application installation. I still don't understand why are you still pulling the eBook example, it's digital license transferring is not what we are talking about.

Twist my words, and take things out of context all you want. I'm done responding to you as this isn't a good faith argument. You just want to be right, and that's infuriating.
Funny coming from the guy saying "You love Epic" while doing everything to not say that Apple is unfairly competing with Spotify. No I don't love Epic, I don't even have an EGS account.

No I just love to not have daddy Apple say what I can and cannot do with my device, oh what a crime I want to install f.lux on an iPhone!!!!
Oh I want play xCloud from an iPhone, think of Apple's revenue stream!!!

Now, if they had just put a message in the app saying, "Visit our website," or even a link that redirected them to their website, that would be one thing. The issue is that the in-app purchase was there, but Apple was cut out entirely which they see as a security risk. Basically, Apple is saying that since they have a walled garden they need to oversee the sensitive transactions such as a purchase in order to protect consumers from being ripped off by shady developers. Epic Games isn't a nobody developer, but they still broke the rules, and in a way that I completely understand where Apple's frustration comes from (as did the judge who literally screamed at Epic, "That’s the security issue!").

Just a note on this, you cannot even put a link to your website to pay there by Apple rules nor even mention that you can pay it in any other way, which is why Spotify, Netflix, etc cannot even mention anything about payment on their apps. Epic could not mention that, on their iOS version.
 
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Bojanglez

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If Apple isn't even letting developers say, "Hey, go to our website for purchases," I'm completely behind legislation for that. My issue is solely with the legislation that says walled gardens can't exist, and that is what Epic is trying to bypass. That won't help consumers or the businesses with the walled gardens. It will only help developers, and developers have proven time and time again that when they save money they don't pass those savings onto the consumers. So consumers should NOT be backing Epic because it will hurt the walled-gardens that we actually do enjoy (looking at Xbox and Playstation), and we also won't be seeing a penny from those savings.

I agree that Epic were extremely childish in the way they have tried to expose Apple. But Apple doesn't distinguish between an app putting a message to say 'go to our website to purchase instead' or an app implementing their own payment gateway. Both of these are not allowed.

It is this unreasonable behaviour as the sole entity that has the authority to allow apps on iOS that is the issue. They are abusing their power to maintain a monopoly on the iOS market.

They have cited security reasons for insisting on their own in app payments, but could not in court say that there weren't other payment gateways that couldn't offer similar (or better) security secure than theirs. They could also not explain why it is not a security risk to allow Amazon to take payments directly themselves in app but not others.

If Apple isn't even letting developers say, "Hey, go to our website for purchases," I'm completely behind legislation for that. My issue is solely with the legislation that says walled gardens can't exist, and that is what Epic is trying to bypass. That won't help consumers or the businesses with the walled gardens. It will only help developers, and developers have proven time and time again that when they save money they don't pass those savings onto the consumers. So consumers should NOT be backing Epic because it will hurt the walled-gardens that we actually do enjoy (looking at Xbox and Playstation), and we also won't be seeing a penny from those savings.

I don't think anyone is saying all walled gardens can't exist. I think the differentiation is that when you operate a walled garden for what is essentially a utility device with a significant market in itself, which (either by design or not) consumers are shown to not easily be willing or able to change from.
 
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ReBurn

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This goes back to my previous point though. You're saying Apple has a monopoly the same way that Microsoft had a monopoly, but that's false. Microsoft wasn't accused of having a monopoly on internet browsers. It was accused of having a monopoly on the x86-based OS for PC market. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the mobile market. Developers can go to Google, and they can sideload their own market place. Amazon has had it's own Android marketplace almost since the beginning of Android. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the App store. The OS itself is designed around only having one app store, and it's owned and operated by Apple. There are alternatives to this, and that is to go with Android. On that platform (which has a greater market share than Apple, by the way) you can have your own app store.

Again, I hate Apple. But introducing legislation that says you can't create a product to be used the way you want it to be used because people are complaining that it isn't fair, even though they are choosing to use that product and they also have alternatives, is ridiculous. That isn't something that needs to be legislated. Do you also expect Microsoft to allow the PSN network to be installed on an Xbox? Because that's what this bill results in. It's chaos.
I never mentioned internet browsers. I also never said it was about the mobile market as a whole.

I am saying that Apple has a monopoly when it comes to the operating systems on their iPhone, iPad and tv devices. It is not possible to install and use an app store other than Apple's on an iOS-based device. Since you are asserting that Apple does not have a monopoly in this ecosystem where can someone go to buy and side load apps on an device running some flavor of iOS?

As far as Google Play is concerned the Android OS often has the Google Play Store as the default store on the device, depending on the country you're buying your device from. I'm aware that in China it isn't but we're talking about the US. It parallels quite closely with the Netscape vs Microsoft lawsuit. The Google Play store may have an advantage over third party app stores on Android devices just because of it being preinstalled and default on the device. It would be completely disingenuous to assert that Google Play is the top marketplace on Android just because it's the store that people like best. It's the top marketplace because it's the one that's in your face as the default when you first boot your device and Google regularly takes steps to keep it that way.

If an app developer wants to be successful on Android devices they pretty have no choice but to do business with Google through their app store. Google even considering taking steps to prevent people from loading apps not purchased from their app store tells us exactly what we need to know. How are you guys ok with this stuff?

And it absolutely baffles me that anyone would advocate the position that Apple has the right to control how someone uses a device they sold to someone else. Apple doesn't own the devices they sell to people so why should they get to dictate the terms for how it can be used post sale?
 
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IFireflyl

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I agree that Epic were extremely childish in the way they have tried to expose Apple. But Apple doesn't distinguish between an app putting a message to say 'go to our website to purchase instead' or an app implementing their own payment gateway. Both of these are not allowed.

It is this unreasonable behaviour as the sole entity that has the authority to allow apps on iOS that is the issue. They are abusing their power to maintain a monopoly on the iOS market.

They have cited security reasons for insisting on their own in app payments, but could not in court say that there weren't other payment gateways that couldn't offer similar (or better) security secure than theirs. They could also not explain why it is not a security risk to allow Amazon to take payments directly themselves in app but not others.

I get what you're saying. This is why Epic screwed up, though. I agree that Apple needs to have their feet held to the fire, but not by allowing alternative storefronts in a walled-garden ecosystem, but with how they allow developers to inform customers of an alternative way they can pay for in-app purchases. I think we're on the same page here. Apple IS abusing their control over iOS to get an unfair cut in that regard. But the issue needs to be restricted to giving developers the ability to collect money outside of iOS entirely. If you're using the iOS to collect the money then it's only fair that Apple (who owns iOS) gets their cut. So the situation isn't adding more app stores (which is what stupid Epic is trying to accomplish), but rather allowing developers to redirect customers to something outside of iOS entirely.

I will say, the security concern is real, and there is precedent for it with Epic Games themselves. They actually bypassed Google's Play Store when they first put Fortnite on Android (and Google allows that), but they ended up screwing up:

What happened?​

The developers, Epic, decided that they’d rather offer the game on mobile outside of Google Play, which drastically increases the amount of revenue not nibbled at by Google. There are multiple potential issues with this:
  • Having children enable the “allow installs from unknown sources” option on an Android is a recipe for disaster. It not only means many of them will inevitably end up downloading a rogue app by mistake, it also means that those phones are now less secure than the fully locked-down Android devices out there.
  • As pointed out on Twitter, even children with legitimate installs of Fortnite onboard will eventually fall foul to something nasty because the phone is splashing around in the metaphorical malware mud.
  • Everything comes down to how well promoted the official download link is, and how efficiently the game developers tell people to only grab the game from that one specific link.
  • Epic needs to ensure they don’t fall victim to sophisticated SEO scams pointing links away from their site and toward bad downloads, and also that their site security is top notch. If the page is compromised, a rogue download link might be waiting in the wings.
That’s how the initial landscape looked shortly after Epic’s announcement, and many predicted things would quickly go horribly wrong.

Did things go horribly wrong?​

They most certainly did. In the end, it wasn’t even a rogue app causing mayhem but an issue found with Fortnite’s installer that allowed for the possibility of rogue apps onboard to hijack the installer and install their own junkware. The so-called “Man in the Disk” attack looks for apps not locking down external storage as well as they should, and quickly gets to work exploiting things happening under the hood.

The uproar over the installer kerfuffle was rounded off with a bit of a fierce debate on Twitter, because that’s what happens with everything in life now.

 

Bojanglez

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I get what you're saying. This is why Epic screwed up, though. I agree that Apple needs to have their feet held to the fire, but not by allowing alternative storefronts in a walled-garden ecosystem, but with how they allow developers to inform customers of an alternative way they can pay for in-app purchases. I think we're on the same page here. Apple IS abusing their control over iOS to get an unfair cut in that regard. But the issue needs to be restricted to giving developers the ability to collect money outside of iOS entirely. If you're using the iOS to collect the money then it's only fair that Apple (who owns iOS) gets their cut. So the situation isn't adding more app stores (which is what stupid Epic is trying to accomplish), but rather allowing developers to redirect customers to something outside of iOS entirely.

I will say, the security concern is real, and there is precedent for it with Epic Games themselves. They actually bypassed Google's Play Store when they first put Fortnite on Android (and Google allows that), but they ended up screwing up:



Yeah again, I'm not defending Epic. In a way they are their own worst enemy in this case as they can't get their own shit in order. But the principle of say Stripe, Amazon, Paypal (the list goes on) being any worse than Apple for payments is farcical.

I don't think it will be a ruling that Apple has to completely open up iOS, but I wonder if the ruling might say they need to do some of the following:
  • Provide an in-app payment framework for other payment gateways to provide services within iOS apps
  • Allow developers to message that payments for subscriptions or items can be made else where (with links to online stores)
  • Ask App to allow other stores onto the App store, with the ability to re-sell Apple approved Apps (kind of like selling steam keys on other stores)
  • Ask Apple to allow 'side loading' of iOS apps (I think this is unlikely)
I think the judge did say something about a ruling that neither side will be happy with, and I can see that with some or a combination of these that being the case.
 

IFireflyl

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I never mentioned internet browsers. I also never said it was about the mobile market as a whole.

I am saying that Apple has a monopoly when it comes to the operating systems on their iPhone, iPad and tv devices. It is not possible to install and use an app store other than Apple's on an iOS-based device. Since you are asserting that Apple does not have a monopoly in this ecosystem where can someone go to buy and side load apps on an device running some flavor of iOS?

As far as Google Play is concerned the Android OS often has the Google Play Store as the default store on the device, depending on the country you're buying your device from. I'm aware that in China it isn't but we're talking about the US. It parallels quite closely with the Netscape vs Microsoft lawsuit. The Google Play store may have an advantage over third party app stores on Android devices just because of it being preinstalled and default on the device. It would be completely disingenuous to assert that Google Play is the top marketplace on Android just because it's the store that people like best. It's the top marketplace because it's the one that's in your face as the default when you first boot your device and Google regularly takes steps to keep it that way.

If an app developer wants to be successful on Android devices they pretty have no choice but to do business with Google through their app store. Google even considering taking steps to prevent people from loading apps not purchased from their app store tells us exactly what we need to know. How are you guys ok with this stuff?

And it absolutely baffles me that anyone would advocate the position that Apple has the right to control how someone uses a device they sold to someone else. Apple doesn't own the devices they sell to people so why should they get to dictate the terms for how it can be used post sale?

You compared Apple to the Microsoft monopoly, and I explained that they were different because Microsoft had a monopoly on the PC OS, whereas Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the mobile OS. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on OSs on their devices anymore than Microsoft has a monopoly on the Xbox OS, or that Sony has on the Playstation OS, or that Samsung has on any device running the Tizen OS, or that Nintendo has on the Switch OS, or that Google has on the Android OS. A monopoly isn't referring to a product (such as an OS). It's referring to market share domination. Apple device software isn't a market share.

An illegal monopoly is when you are using your monopoly to prevent competition. The App Store on iPhones is competing with Google Play Store on Android. The Xbox doesn't have to allow the Playstation Store to be installed and have it sell PS Now subscriptions. The Playstation doesn't have to allow the Microsoft Store to be installed and have it sell Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. Walled-gardens aren't inherently bad. As I said to another user, anti-competitive practices such as not allowing a developer to redirect a customer to somewhere outside of the OS should be legislated. But it isn't anti-competitive to have a single storefront allowed on the device itself in a walled-garden OS.

Google having its storefront installed by default is no different than Windows 10 having the Microsoft Store installed by default, or Edge/IE installed by default, or Apple having Safari installed by default. If you can change the default store on Android, what's your issue? If an Apple/Android/MacOS/Windows came with no default web browser or store then there would literally be no way to get another web browser or store without an external device (like another computer or phone that has the ability to get the side-loadable content or executable to copy over to the device that needs it).

Also, why are you, and others like you, trying to put words in my mouth? At no point did I say that I was okay with Google thinking about buying out Epic just to prevent competition. That's obviously not okay.
 

Gamezone

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It's probably been answered, but there's too much to read. Wasn't this court thing over long ago? What happened?
 

IFireflyl

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Yeah again, I'm not defending Epic. In a way they are their own worst enemy in this case as they can't get their own shit in order. But the principle of say Stripe, Amazon, Paypal (the list goes on) being any worse than Apple for payments is farcical.

I don't think anyone would argue that Stripe/Amazon/PayPal/et cetera is worse than Apple for payments. I certainly wasn't trying to make that claim (and if I did allude to this in some way then I apologize).

  • Provide an in-app payment framework for other payment gateways to provide services within iOS apps
  • Allow developers to message that payments for subscriptions or items can be made else where (with links to online stores)
  • Ask App to allow other stores onto the App store, with the ability to re-sell Apple approved Apps (kind of like selling steam keys on other stores)
  • Ask Apple to allow 'side loading' of iOS apps (I think this is unlikely)
  1. I don't think this is feasible since it would basically be forcing Apple to code for other payment processors, and I don't think there is any legal precedent that can force someone to allow another payment processor to be included in their software, and that's a dangerous precedent to create now. Not to mention that the judge couldn't specify which payment processor to use (because if they say to use PayPal, what happens if PayPal is sold or goes under?), and in keeping this vague Apple could use an unknown and/or untrustworthy payment processor just to force (in a roundabout way) developers to keep using their payment processor with the 30% cut.
  2. That sounds reasonable.
  3. I keep re-reading this, and I'm not entirely sure what you're meaning. Could you give a more specific example? I'm feeling rather stupid right now, lol.
  4. Since security truly has been at the forefront of all of their OSs, I think that a judge forcing this insecurity would be tantamount to destroying the entire brand. If it was just iOS I would say maybe. But Apple has been touting their security long before they invented the iPhone, and they carried over their security stance into their mobile OS. If the judge forced them to side-load it could actually cause harm to the Apple brand if iOS devices started getting a bunch of malware/viruses/et cetera. Also, side-loading isn't just allowing foreign apps that could be dangerous in and of themselves. When a foreign app can be side-loaded, you're also introducing a new way for unscrupulous people to figure out flaws in iOS that they can use to exploit others even without them having to side-load your app. For example, if someone figures out a software-level flaw due to their side-loaded app, they could use that to create a website that they could share, and any iOS user clicking that link could have their phone infected.
I think the second option truly is the best. It keeps the device itself secure (provided the link the developer put in isn't malicious) which is what Apple wants, and it allows developers an alternative to Apple's 30% cut which is what developers want. Regardless, consumers aren't going to benefit from this. But it will be interesting to see where this goes. Legislation is just so tricky because it's hard to future-proof it, and it usually ends up being abused in some way.

I think the best scenario would be for the judge not to rule in Epic's favor, and for legislation to be introduced that had a hard cap of what percentage storefronts could take from developers. But then I'm wondering why it's legal for credit card companies to have 29.99% APR. This whole thing is a mess! Let's just do a bottom-to-top revamp of our entire country. :D

It's probably been answered, but there's too much to read. Wasn't this court thing over long ago? What happened?

No, it isn't over.

EDIT: To elaborate, the trial is over, but the verdict has not been announced.
 
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Deaconstanjesusman

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Good to see governments round the world have solved their major problems that they can devote money and time to this. I as a consumer choose to use apples walled garden. I as a consumer prefer apples system, I like having them regulate the payment system. I don’t want to have to sign up to mobile stores to be able to download a certain app. There is android for those who don’t like this option. The fact that governments think it’s ok to force a company to change what they created from the ground up. There is another option here and it has the larger market share