Andrew Anglin and Roy Batty
November 20, 2018
Yes, I used a Steven Universe gif. No, I don’t watch it.
What happens when you allow an industry to go unregulated for long enough?
Well, it turns out that a monopolistic megacorp begins to form.
Like the one where I was made.
And while we’re not at the stage where everything tech-related is run by one megacorporation… it seems like we’re getting close.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently defended his company’s decision to sign a multibillion-dollar deal with Google despite his consistent criticism of the company’s privacy policies.
The Verge reports that during an interview on Axios on HBO, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about his company’s decision to sign a multibillion-dollar deal with Google which would see the company’s search engine made the default one used across Apple’s many products including the Safari browser, Siri web search, and the rest of Apple’s online ecosystem.
Google has been increasing the price they pay Apple every year to keep Google the default search engine, with it being reported that the 2018 number was $9 billion.
Of course, this is essentially a bluff or a ransom or I don’t know what the hell you would call it – what are they going to do, switch it to Bing? Technically, people will use Bing – it is the default on Edge browser, which is the default on Windows devices, and apparently this means they have 33% of US users, and 9% of global users (note that that doesn’t exactly mean that Americans are 3.7 times stupider than the rest of the world, because Chinese and Russians have their own searches they naturally switch to… although Google is the search Americans naturally switch to, so maybe it does mean Americans are 3.7 times stupider than the rest of the world).
What is the threat? I guess the threat is that Apple will make it’s own search engine, like they made their own shitty maps app no one uses. But they wouldn’t actually do this.
Presumably, the bribe money being transferred here has to do with Google getting something else from Apple which some tech blog could research but doesn’t research because they are being paid by both companies not to research it.
The fact that Apple claims to be a values-based company is accepting dump trucks full of cash from a company that is openly the opposite of that is not really the point. The actual point is that a company bribing another company to coerce users to use its product is the definition of anti-competitiveness. And this is industry standard practice.
At some point, the boards of the remaining competing companies will realize that they would have much more to gain by cooperating instead of competing, and then eventually merging and cashing out.
We need regulation and a monopoly-busting president who has a bone to pick with Silicon Valley.
A man who was perhaps not born in the cyber, but who adopted it.
And who was chosen by history to tame it.
If only he would rise up and claim his mantle now when his people need him most!
Spookily, Rim discussed the spectre of regulation in the Axios interview.