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Apple's corporate attitude now out of place, says analyst

updated 05:15 pm EDT, Tue June 15, 2010

May be inviting crackdown by US government

Apple may need to adjust its behavior if it wants to avoid legal action by the US government, argues Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes. The FTC is reportedly considering whether Apple should be charged with antitrust violations, mainly for banning cross-compilers such as those based on Flash. The corporation could also be accused of unfairly blocking Google and AdMob from selling iOS ads, and the Department of Justice is reportedly looking into abuses in the music industry.

Status as a minority player in the smartphone world should protect Apple "for now," says Reitzes, but it's suggested that the company main need to be more careful about its public image. A misstep could potentially land the company in jeopardy. The root problem, the analyst contends, is that Apple still carries an "underdog" attitude; while this may help it overachieve, it's thought that the company fails to realize that it is no longer seen this way by the public.

Apple is nevertheless claimed to have "a lot of things going in its favour," such that it's unlikely to be hurt by government safeguards during the next two to three years.

Beyond questions of unfair competition, Apple's image has also been marred in recent weeks by conditions at manufacturing partner Foxconn. Despite the former's insistence that it maintains strict standards on who it works with, Foxconn has been accused of underpaying employees while simultaneously overworking them, giving them little time for activities beyond eating and sleeping. A string of deaths are alleged to be connected to the poor treatment.

by MacNN Staff





  1. DanielSw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Where's the by-line. . .

    . . .on this cheap malicious mashup of opinion and rumor posing as news? Of course this miscreant would most likely remain anonymous like most of the posters on these article threads.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I particularly like DanielSw's use of the word "miscreant". It's a word that doesn't get used often enough! :-)

  1. slaurel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is so ridiculous. This is like me having the nicest swimming pool in the neighborhood and the neighbors suing me because I won’t let them use it.

    There is nothing anti-competitive about this. Apple created a money pit and now everyone want’s a piece of the pie.

    Anti competitive is what Microsoft did years ago by telling companies like Dell that if they sold anything other then Windows, they would loose their discounts, therefore choking out other OSes like Linux (competition) === Anti competitive.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Agree with Slaurel

    I am beginning to think that Macnn is a Microsoft blog that wants to push at Apple when ever it can. Cause -- you know how that affects sales... ???

    Really, while I appreciate that Apple must follow the law, it seems that these govt agencies will jump into any complaint by any competitor they hear from.

    Hey, I am just going to enjoy my neat Apple toys and the other kids can fight over the broke, cheap copies.

    Just a thought,

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Clueless Anal-yst Again

    MacNN has been accused of being a MS blog long ago. Actually they just love news trouble and made up c***. They have way more advertising than they did 3 years ago.

    This analyst is another jerk who really knows nothing about Apple and these complaints. What the public perceives, in terms of "bigness" has nothing to do with what the FTC thinks and he should know that.

    Hey morons, Apple is a cash cow, keep it that way for your customers. No one is buying MS or Dell right now.

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Listen here US Government

    You are OUT OF CONTROL, and the Tea Parties are coming to CLEAN HOUSE.

    Apple is the one shining star in this country's economy, practically holding the nation from financial collapse. You dare touch it and there will be trouble.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ignorant Mac Fools

    You would rather not know what an industry analyst says?

    Buy a subscription to the WSJ, then, and lett my beloved Macnn
    go out of business.

    It would serve you right.

    Hard to argue Apple is not a top dog -- err, fruit -- now.
    Best to start behavin' like one.

    Woops! Gotta go download my point upgrade to the OS.
    A free upgrade. Gotta love it.

  1. tfmeehan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "The root problem, the analyst contends, is that Apple still carries an "underdog" attitude; while this may help it overachieve, it's thought that the company fails to realize that it is no longer seen this way by the public."

    Look, if Apple is truly in violation of any of these statutes, then it should pay the price. However, what does public perception have to do with FTC actions? The FTC has to meet a burden of proof. This is a legal situation. They can't cite Apple just because some citizens think Apple is too big for their britches.

    And, since Apple is unlikely to become the biggest player in the phone industry and it's not trying to control the industry in general, just it's own platform, it's always going to be a tough case to prove.

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