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Will Apple be forced into licensing?

updated 09:15 pm EDT, Sat October 21, 2006

Future is licensing?

One ZDnet blogger believes that Apple's continued success--including the forthcoming release a rumored "perfect" iPone--could force some governments to file an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple, which could force the company to open up its proprietary iPod/iTunes ecosystem, but allow the company to profit handsomely. "Eventually, some governments will force Apple's hand under antitrust law. If not here in the US, then somewhere else. Apple knows this and the name of the game at this point is arbitrage. Somewhere, on Apple's general counsel's spreadsheet, is the cost of an antitrust settlement against the company -- the sort where the company is forced to open up its interfaces on a fair licensing basis much the same way Microsoft has been forced to do the same. No matter how conservative the what-if scenarios in that spreadsheet are, Apple will still profit and very famously so."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Ashari

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Not going to happen

    While Apple may have a big chunk of the music download marketplace (as well as the players that play said music), they are a tiny spec compared to places that sell CDs... and it isn't anywhere near "anti-trust" when a person can simply go down to Wal*Mart and buy a CD, forgoing the entire iTunes "experience".

    IANAL but this sounds like it would be very easy to defend against.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Force govmnt use multi OS

    It is funny how the government has policies for multiple vendors for hardware but they only use windows. If they are going to keep this hardware vendor bullshit in Sarbanes O. and government contracts, shouldn't they also mandate multiple software (OS) vendors and open standards for interoperability?

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Consoles are not interop.

    Music players, like consoles are entertainment devices and are not essential for doing business whereas computers are general purpose devices that people use for various pursuits.

    If we do not expect consoles to be interoperable, why should we expect this from music players? The only reason Apple created the iPod in the first place was because MSFT refused to provide support for OS X WMP syncing with the WMA devices out on the market.

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    not consistent

    I have not seen any of these supposed licensing of MS Office propritary formats. If Microsoft is only going to get a slap on the wrist for illegally leveraging its monopoly to kill off competition, then why should Apple be forced to change their file formats when you can very easily burn the music to CDs and then rip mp3s of them and use them in any music player.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    The end paranoia

    THe blogger makes a closing comment about apple stopping the output of a windows based iTunes. What's the likelihood of THAT happenning? I wouldn't think much of it personally. Sounds to me like this guy is afraid of Apple exploiting the dominace that MS has been so willing to use in the past. However, in my experiece, APL has tried to allow as many ppl to make use of its wonderful design as they have the resources to do. I wouldn't worry about this unless they loose Jobs.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    no s***

    is the guy an attorney or just some random dude on the web, talking out his a**?

  1. e2Sync

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    climacs

    I'm not so sure there's much difference between the two except one has a bit of paper that says he's been professionally trained to do it.

  1. e2Sync

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    an ipone !

    even cooler the iPhone I bet!! Can't wait to get one!

  1. loudpedal

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Forced M$ to licence?

    This guy doesn't remember (or was never taught) his history. No one forced Microsoft to licence MS-DOS & Windows to multiple hardware vendors. It was their business model from the beginning.

    And hopefully, if a government does step in, they will be as effective against Apple as they were with MS. I haven't seen any punitive ruling that has had any real effect. Microsoft has hurt itself through crappy program management & outright boring products more than any court decision.

  1. Hillbilly Geek

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    what the heck is

    an iPone? anything like a corn pone? ;-)

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