QUOTE(Buttsex @ Sep 5 2009, 12:44 AM)
Last stats I saw were from July 07, showed Apple had about 11.3% of the market. I'm not saying Apple has a monopoly, but when they do finally overtake Microsoft (Which I project will be within the next few years), they're going to go through the same shit Microsoft did about the monopoly.
Maybe. But the situations are also quite a bit different.
I don't know the specifics of the EU case, but the reason Microsoft was charged with anti-trust violations in the US, and the reason Apple's situation is different, is due to a couple interrelated things:
- The problem wasn't so much in Microsoft's bundling of IE with Windows, as it was in the fact that Internet Explorer isn't easily removed from Windows. It was virtually impossible to remove IE from Windows in XP and prior versions; I think the case still holds in Vista, but I'm not sure.
- Microsoft is a software manufacturer; Apple is a hardware manufacturer. The problem with Microsoft is that it required OEMs to bundle certain pieces of software with their systems. It probably would've been okay if Microsoft had bundled IE with Windows as long as the OEM could easily strip out IE and replace it with, e.g., Netscape Navigator, but this wasn't the case. Apple, on the other hand, sells complete hardware systems (and at any rate, it's a simple process to remove Apple software from the machine anyway -- just drop it in the Trash).
And the biggest issue was this: Microsoft was using its monopoly to leverage its products in other
markets, specifically Internet browsers. There's nothing illegal about having a monopoly per se; the problem is when a company uses that power to stifle competition in unrelated markets. Microsoft would've been fine if they'd had a monopoly in the OS market, but they used their position in the OS market to stifle competition in the Internet browser market, which is an anti-trust violation.
Again, I don't know the specifics of the EU antitrust case, but I think the charges were basically the same, but replace "Internet browser" with "multimedia player". I am also skeptical of the merits of the EU case, given that the EU has a pretty strong bias against American corporations.
Right now, Apple isn't a monopoly in any markets anyway, and I doubt your claim that they'll be the dominant player in the PC market any time soon; but even if they were
the dominant player, they'd only be violating anti-trust laws if they used that monopoly to stifle competition in an unrelated market.