Sunday, December 27, 2009

Why no antitrust for Apple?

The European Union this month decided to drop any further antitrust charges against Microsoft on the issue related to the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows. The case was settled with Microsoft agreeing to give Windows users a choice of 12 other Web browsers, including Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera during installation. 

This makes me wonder why no one has asked a question like this around Apple's iPhone App Store. The App Store is the only (legal) way to get applications onto the iPhone. Apple has full mandate over what goes into the App Store and what is rejected. For a long time Apple's own Safari browser was the only browser available for the iPhone. Any browser developed by a third-party was immediately rejected. Earlier this year Apple opened up for a few third-party browsers. The requirement is that they must be based on Apple's WebKit engine. This immediately rules out browsers such as Firefox and Opera. Rumor has it that Opera did submit their Opera Mini browser to the App Store, but that it was reject although this rumor has never really been confirmed

Comparing this to Microsoft's browser settlement, I would say Microsoft's position is nothing compared to Apple's. All Microsoft did was to include their own browser with their own software. Users could at any point change to a different browser if they so wished. However, with Apple this is not even possible as Apple has the final say as to what software eventually will be available for their platform. My question is; why is Microsoft in so much trouble and Apple not? Something is very wrong here...

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By Helge with 4 comments

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