It seems the big technology companies are running scared. According to a report by The New York Times, they have ramped up their lobbying efforts into the stratosphere at all levels of government, and Tim Cook is even personally calling politicians – most prominently, Nancy Pelosi.
The calls by Mr. Cook are part of a forceful and wide-ranging pushback by the tech industry since the proposals were announced this month. Executives, lobbyists, and more than a dozen think tanks and advocacy groups paid by tech companies have swarmed Capitol offices, called and emailed lawmakers and their staff members, and written letters arguing there will be dire consequences for the industry and the country if the ideas become law.
The bills, the most sweeping set of antitrust legislation in generations, take aim at Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google by trying to undo their dominance in online commerce, advertising, media and entertainment. There are six bills in total, and if passed, they would empower regulators, make it harder for the tech giants to acquire start-ups and prevent the companies from using their strength in one area to form a grip in another.
Apple also published a 16 page PR document today, warning that the world will end if Apple is forced to allow sideloading or third party application stores on iOS. Of course, this is all nonsense, as the only thing Apple worries about is the protection money it extracts that makes up the vast majority of its services push that it uses to please investors. Nobody is going to break into iOS users’ homes and force them to sideload – don’t sideload if you don’t want to, but the rest of us should be allowed to do whatever we want with the devices we paid money for.
Another major reason Apple is running is scared is that if it has to allow sideloading, the company will lose the control over its platform that is so coveted by Apple’s closest friends and allies, the totalitarian governments of this world. China, Saudi-Arabia, Russia, and others are weaponising Apple’s walled garden, and if that wall is cracked open, Apple is suddenly no longer as valuable to totalitarian governments. This would hurt Apple’s bottom line significantly.
Amazon and Google also have a lot to lose, of course. Google controls most of the advertising market and any measures to lessen that control will be a major blow to the company’s bottom line. Amazon, for its part, abuses the data it collects about buyers and sellers to create their own products and delist their competitors, which has become a cornerstone of the company’s strategy.
The fact they are running scared bodes well for the contents of these proposed bills, but at the same time, it also means a lot of bribes are flowing towards Washington, and American politicians are nothing if not deeply, systematically corrupt and easily bought.
This was what I feared. And it is happening for a second time.
Back in the day, Microsoft had virtually zero lobbying spending. And they were just doing their thing. (I don’t want to go into merits of their thing, just the outside effects).
However, DOJ brew up an anti-trust case against them, asking an ultimate breakup of the company even.
And, then all of a sudden (even before the case was officially filed), Microsoft started lobbying. It went onto increasing that over time, which is still increasing today.
What happened to the anti-trust case? They reached a settlement for what is essentially a slap on the wrist:
Now, “big tech” is ramping up lobbying that coincides with the anti-trust risk over their heads (And, yes, I work for a big tech company, so I need to stop here).
You don’t have to look that far. Android is much more open in regards to installing APKs and proves that whatever Apple claims in this regard, to prevent the same on iOS, is bollocks. I personally just don’t know on why we are having this discussion in 2021. Regulators have failed us and did that hard.
Behind the boasts and badges of status these alleged captains of industry are flawed and inadequate human beings like the rest of us.
The world will end? Is Tim Cook now a believer of the Armageddon stated in the Bible? Anyway, since I do not have time to read that, he must have been saying that Apple is on a world of its own, and can’t afford to let aliens running applications inside Apple’s world.
I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again. How would you handle China if you were running Apple. Keep in mind that right now you do not manufacture ANY iPhones or iPads and mostly not Macs (I think only the Mac Pro is manufactured in the U.S.). How would you handle and China’s market AND the people that allow you to do your job, which would be running Apple. Investors, especially the largest holders of Apple stock have a HUGE say in who is running Apple.
With that in mind, I encourage you to profoundly how you would tell China to shove their anti-human rights ways (I hate what they do as much as you) while:
1) Keeping your job as head of Apple which means keeping investors happen (profits, profits, profits)
2) Helping Chinese people who want iPhones AND freedom to be happier
3) Keeping China from nuking your manufacturing plants. Not literally nuking them but shutting them down or curbing them enough that you don’t lose your job as head of Apple.
I’m waiting … It’s an easy job. You keep saying it is. So tell us how you do things if you ran Apple.