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DOJ probe of Apple expanding to cover movies, other areas

updated 08:35 pm EDT, Sat May 29, 2010

DOJ may have carte blanche to investigate Apple

The Department of Justice's antitrust investigation of Apple is expanding into the video industry and other areas as well, sources said today. A number of large media and technology companies have been asked if Apple has exerted unfair control over their own businesses. The NY Post understands that Apple's decision to ban cross-compiling developer tools like Adobe Flash CS5 sparked much of the investigation beyond music.

"You can't dictate terms to the industry," an anonymous studio source said. "The Adobe thing is just inviting the wrath of everybody."

Most of the media-related arguments have centered around Apple allegedly strong-arming publishers into giving it equal or better terms than competitors like Amazon. Arguments surrounding development are different may have been spurred on by Adobe, which feels both that Apple is unfairly locking some developers into writing only iPhone apps but also wants to drive sales of Flash to developers who could write once for several platforms. It ties into media issues, however, as it prevented Conde Nast from publishing the Wired iPad app without rewriting large parts of code.

Some of the newly gained confidence from media firms may have manifested itself in rumors of NBC and Time Warner refusing to use HTML5 both out of principle and technical reasons.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Bearcat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Um....Yes, you can

    Apple says if you want to develop for our product you have to use our tools. Umm....yeah, duh.

    "You can't dictate terms to the industry"

    Yes, you can. Just like Toyota says you can't put Ford parts in our cars. Idiots.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fishing Expedition

    Apple doesn't attempt to crush the competition, just do it better.
    Do EVERYTHING better...
    from packaging to customer service and everything in between.

    Apple ain't no Microsoft.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple ain't no Microsoft

    Agreed and thank (higher power of your choice.)

    Unfortunately, the Microsofts/competition of the world don't like it when their pathetic attempts to produce products people actually want (versus just being cheaper alternatives) are shown up repeatedly on function and design - not to mention repeatedly discovering that people are willing to pay more for quality. Ergo, they presume Apple must be doing something illegal (i.e., something illegal that even the competitors didn't think of doing) so SUE! SUE! SUE-DIO!!! In the worst case, they think they're at least delaying Apple with these frivolous diversions. And who knows? They figure maybe they'll strike gold on some technicality or even (gasp) a reality that Apple somehow missed in all their success.

  1. herojig

    Joined: Dec 1969


    DOJ misplaced attention...

    Dear DOJ, please forget Apple for a moment and focus on BP and the second by second destruction of the Gulf of Mexico. Thank you,
    From a US Citizen

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't understand why Adobe can control

    95% of the internet with Flash which I would think amount to being a monopoly and yet because Apple wants to use only certain tools on its own platform, it becomes something that the DOJ needs to look into. I heard that Intel is putting pressure on certain tablet vendors to use Atom processors instead of ARM processors. It seems like it would be illegal to do something like that.

    As far as that cross-compiler thing goes, nobody is stopping those developers from leaving the Apple platform. If they want to develop for all the other platforms, then they should do so and even exclude the Apple platform if they feel they're being cheated in some way. All those developers came to the Apple platform on their own free will and they can leave on their own free will. Apple can't threaten them to stay.

  1. TomMcIn

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Quality, Quality, Quality

    Amazing that the DOJ wants to investigate Apple because Apple runs it business to maximize the quality of the product and services it sells to its customers. Apple has taken a risk that none of the complainers like Adobe, etc were willing to take and now all the complainers are hoping to have the DOJ help them crawl in under the back door and reap the benefits of Apples creativity.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Hey DOJ. Get your head out of your arse.

  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Adobe tools fails..

    Have you tried the WIRED app on the iPad?
    I'm not impressed, abd the intro says it was developed 'with Adobe tools' so they can cross-develop to multiple platforms.. Guess what - it's a PERFECT exsample of why Apple does not want this to happen! Sorry WIRED, but I think it sucks big time!

    - It's hard to see what pages 'scroll' down.
    - The Mars timeline is close to unusable. Can't control the damn thing.
    - Ohh, you can play movies inline? wow..

    But at least it's a start.. ;-)

  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Call the Gulf coast congress members

    DOJ misplaced attention...05/29, 11:48pm reply

    Dear DOJ, please forget Apple for a moment and focus on BP and the second by second destruction of the Gulf of Mexico. Thank you,
    From a US Citizen

    The above comment is worth repeating over and over. Some government miscreants have decided to make a name for themselves.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Three Junk Yard Dogs

    Quote: ""You can't dictate terms to the industry," an anonymous studio source said. "The Adobe thing is just inviting the wrath of everybody."

    Not true. I'd be absolutely delighted to see Flash disappear from the web. Before I added ClickToFlash to Safari, Flash was responsible for the great bulk of the lockups and crashes on my Mac. Now they're virtually gone. Flash is more a virus than a product. Keep it around as a presentation tool for some, but otherwise good riddance. I applaud Steve Jobs for taking it on.

    Quote: "Most of the media-related arguments have centered around Apple allegedly strong-arming publishers into giving it equal or better terms than competitors like Amazon."

    True with a caveat. The big three, Amazon, Apple and Google are all would-be monopolists, juggling for an advantageous position over the others with DRM, differing and inadequate book formats, exclusive stores, and mean-spirited contracts. For authors such as myself, trying to publish an ebook is a bit like deciding which junk yard dog to feed. None are very helpful. None have the slightest clue what books are all about.

    Amazon sees books as yet another way to make money and in its greed and obsession with control seems intent on destroying the infrastructure that creates and promotes good books. Google sees books as billions and billions of bytes on which to slap their lucrative ads. Apple seems to have lost touch with its earlier roots in typography and layout. It is clueless about how inadequate ePub is for publishing anything other than novels or simply illustrated children's stories.

    Like the Kindle, the iPad has a screen large enough to display the typical trade paperback at full size. Until ePub grows into an adequate standard for all sorts of ebooks, a process that will take several years, iBooks and the iBookstore should also distribute books as PDFs. It'd be easy for publishers to create such books from their existing titles, and it'd look one heck of a lot better than anything today's ePub can generate.

    And as a mid-term solution to allow the same ebook files to run on an iPhone, Apple could create and open source a 'universal' book format that joins an ePub document (for small readers where the text must reflow) with a PDF file (where the pages can be professionally laid out and look marvelous), for larger readers. That's what is needed, and Apple has a talent for creating just that sort of universal packaging.

    Finally, Adobe has made a big mistake putting so much of its investment in Flash under the assumption that it's like PDF. It isn't. PDF was stable and powerful. The publishing industry wouldn't have adopted it otherwise. Flash is unpredictable and unstable. It dominates only because it hasn't had adequate competition. Now with HTML 5.0 it does.

    --Michael W. Perry, author of Untangling Tolkien

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