Fighting technology monopolies

The U.S. government filed a landmark antitrust lawsuit against Apple last week. The Department of Justice (DOJ) accuses Apple of abusing its dominance by “building a moat around its smartphone monopoly,” alleging in an 88-page complaint how the company has built a monopoly on the popular iPhone. Listed the things that are said to make it difficult for competing products to exist. high fees charged to developers and technical barriers that reduce the quality of communication between Apple and non-Apple devices. These practices have spillover into industries such as financial services, gaming, fitness, social media, news media, and entertainment, and unless Apple is stopped, they could “entrench iPhone monopoly in other markets and parts of the world.” is high,” the complaint added. economy”.

The photo combo in this image shows the Apple, Meta, Google, and Amazon logos.  (AP Photo)(AP) premium
The photo combo in this image shows the Apple, Meta, Google, and Amazon logos. (AP Photo)(AP)

What makes this case noteworthy is not just the breadth of the allegations. Apple is one of the symbols of American superiority in technology. The giants of Silicon Valley love this, and Meta, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have reshaped the world, its economy, culture, and society. Today, there is virtually no aspect of life that isn’t touched by products from these big five technology companies. Together, they are worth more than $10.5 trillion, more than three times the size of India’s economy. Behind this advantage are certainly innovations that have pushed the boundaries of modern computing and brought unexpected capabilities and efficiencies to the world.

But that’s only part of the story. Investigations and fines against these companies in recent years show that much of their advantage is due to calculated decisions that go to the heart of free market principles. For example, Google has been fined billions of dollars for miscontrol of its search business, its Android mobile operating system policies, and the advertising platform that powers the digital economy. Amazon has been accused of running an unfair digital marketplace (arguably the world’s largest), and Meta (Facebook) is being investigated for acquiring competitors. Microsoft came under fire for antitrust violations before the turn of the millennium, and the Justice Department actually cited this case in a new complaint against Apple. From 1998 to the early 2000s, the company was seen as abusing its dominance in personal computing and was ordered to open up its products to competitors. The outcome of the lawsuit against Apple will also be closely watched in India.In India, protection is essential not only for consumers but also for industry so that the world’s largest population has access to a level playing field.

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