Thursday, Jun 24, 2021, 09:18 Economy

Ban On Preinstalled Apps? Apple CEO Tim Cook Gets Ready To Defend In Court

The United States are broadly recognized as a business-friendly (perhaps too friendly, depending on who you ask) country with more freedoms than restrictions. However, this isn't the case when concerns of monopoly arise, or when companies take active measures to restrict competition on the free market. Many large companies in The US have had to deal with accusations of monopolizing behaviour, and Apple is no exception – in fact, the company is one of the biggest out of the entire lot. In order to avoid serious consequences to the company, Tim Cook has quite the assignment set before him at the moment. There's currently a bill in the house under antitrust reform legislation that would ban preinstalled apps from devices. As reported by The New York Times, the Apple CEO is speaking with Democratic Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi and other congress members in order to describe the urgency of the current situation from Apple's perspective.

A Difficult Task
From Cook's perspective, the current measures being considered in hopes of restricting the ever-increasing power of large tech companies are rushed. The impact of the currently proposed legislation would have more of an impact on customers than on innovation and can't possibly be in the best interest of the consumer. For Cook, the main point of contention is what services a company should be allowed to provide. The "everything from one source" policy that Apple has followed since its days as a much smaller company is what currently has lawmakers in The United States concerned. Just as in Europe, legislators in The United States have set their sights on "preinstalled apps". Whether or not Cook will have the staying power to prevent the impending legislation, remains to be seen.

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Apple Sucked Into A Vortex
Apple wasn't expecting the upcoming legislation to impact them at all. In fact, initial investigations were concerned primarily with Facebook, Google, and Amazon. At first, it looked as if Apple would be completely unaffected, there was only a review of the App Store's terms and conditions. Since then, the situation has changed quite drastically. Apple now stands for "Big Tech", just like the other three companies (Google, Facebook, and Amazon), with a market value of over 600 billion dollars – Apple is now a target for big tech legislation.

The Honeymoon Is Over, Apple
Although big tech companies, particularly Amazon and Apple, have managed to avoid the ire of lawmakers for quite some time – it now looks as if things could be entering the danger zone. The current legislation is (unusual for these times) bipartisan – supported by both Democrats and Republicans. For far too long, the tech branch has been allowed to experience a "honeymoon" period and has been handled by lawmakers with kid gloves. Although lawmakers aren't entirely in agreement as to what extent this new legislation should go to – lawmakers are in agreement that something needs to be done and that big tech companies cannot be allowed to simply experience unbridled growth to the detriment of small businesses and startups. The matter has long since exceeded that of the initial accusations of "big tech company A" is hindering "company B" (as in the case of Apple vs. Epic or Spotify). Instead, lawmakers are now trying to identify key strategies executed by big tech in order to secure as strong a position as possible by preventing competition.

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