Items tagged with monopoly

Are Apple’s app practices anti-competitive? Phillip Shoemaker, the former head of App Store approvals, is concerned about the current competition between Apple and other developers. He argued that Apple should update its guidelines to give users a better experience, but noted that the app review process is rather complicated.  Shoemaker was the head of App Store approvals between 2009 and 2016, and he helped to craft Apple’s in-app purchase system. In 2009, his team decided that Apple would receive a 30% cut of every digital good or service sold within an iOS app. Furthermore, apps were not allowed to include buttons or links that would direct customers to other places where... Read more...
Epic Games struck gold with Fortnite, the incredibly popular battle royale shooter. Despite being a free-to-download title, Epic Game is raking in barrels of cash through in-game purchases. To keep the influx of cash flowing at a steady rate, Epic Games has teamed up with Hasbro to offer Fortnite-themed Nerf Blasters and a Monopoly board game. A Fortnite-themed Monopoly game feels like a natural extension, given that the goal of Monopoly is to ruin your opponents—usually family and friends—and be the last person standing. Only in Monopoly, we're talking about financial ruin, and over a much longer period of time per game (if playing by standard rules, that is). Thrilled to show you... Read more...
Google has just settled a lengthy Android antitrust case in Russia. Not only is the company being fined $7.8 million USD, but it has agreed to allow the pre-installation of third-party apps. This move will make room for apps like the the local Russian search engine Yandex NV. The decision is the conclusion of a year and a half long case. In October 2015, Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service ruled that Google violated the country’s anti-monopoly laws. The regulators demanded that Google alter its agreements with mobile device producers in order to enable the installation of third-party apps. Google had been appealing the decision prior to the recent settlement. Google’s commercial settlement... Read more...
If you have an opinion that many would deem illogical, what do you do? You go find other people who think just as illogically, of course. Power in numbers, as they say. That can go for a sibling battling with another sibling over who took the last of the cupcakes just as well as it can for mega corporations like Comcast which argue that a monopoly is a good thing. Comcast's desire to absorb Time Warner Cable has been a hugely debated topic, with many believing it'd harm innovation and work against consumers, while others -- those on Comcast's side -- state the exact opposite. I say if you have any doubt about which side you're on, just consider how Comcast handles itself now. Need examples? You... Read more...
The FCC has confirmed that it will hold a May 15 vote on a new set of policies governing net neutrality and ISP behavior -- but according to the Wall Street Journal, the commission's proposed regulation will effectively kill the idea of a level playing field. The Wall Street Journal reports that the proposed rules would prevent ISPs from blocking specific websites, but would allow them to charge services like Netflix an additional fee for better access to end users. The paper claims that all "commercially reasonable" agreements would be permitted, with deals investigated on a case-by-case basis to ascertain whether the terms are reasonable. This is the opposite of what the FCC attempted to do... Read more...
In a development that's glad news for any AT&T customer stuck with the company's new 150GB broadband cap, the New America Foundation and the Public Knowledge group have jointly asked the FCC to examine data caps. While they admit that such caps are not prima facie evidence of monopolistic abuse, they note: "they [broadband caps] carry the omnipresent temptation to act in an anticompetitive and monopolistic ways. Unless they are clearly and transparently justified to address legitimate network capacity concerns, caps can work directly against the promise of broadband access." AT&T comes under particular fire. "Unlike competitors, whose caps appear to be at least nominally linked to congestions... Read more...
Monopoly is going 21st century. Soon, there will be a computer managing all the transactions in the game, which will make all the clever alterations to the game's rules that people inevitably use as part of the fun a thing of the past. Monopoly Live, as it is called, was shown off at last week's Toy Fair in New York. Instead of that huge center space in the board, where players used to throw money, put the Community Chest and Chance cards, and roll the dice, is an infrared tower with a speaker. It's the HAL 9000 for your Monopoly board, and it issues commands, er, instructions, keeps track of the money and makes sure players stick to the rules. There's no confusion here. It even makes sure you... Read more...
It's been a few months since we've talked much about the FTC's investigation of Intel's alleged abusive, monopolistic behavior but the case isn't sitting still. NVIDIA is a major party of the inquiry and the GPU manufacturer has just launched a new area within its own site dubbed "The Case For Innovation" detailing the findings and documents of the case. "One of the FTC's concerns is Intel's attempt to and behavior of blocking the GPU from getting into the marketplace," said Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's CEO. "Today if you were buying a high-end desktop PC you could have amazing graphics and the GPU inside is doing 3D graphics for you...in certain form factors, like notebooks, where Intel bundles... Read more...
AMD and Intel may have settled their court case and bills—Intel paid the smaller company $1.25 billion last week—but the manufacturer has been hit with an additional charge of unlawful behavior, this time from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). According to the FTC's complaint, Intel has systemically waged a campaign to "shut out rivals’ competing microchips by cutting off their access to the marketplace. In the process, Intel deprived consumers of choice and innovation in the microchips that comprise the computers’ central processing unit, or CPU." “Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly,” said Richard A. Feinstein, Director of the FTC’s... Read more...
Last week, we covered the European Commission's (EC) decision that Intel had abused its market power. One of the findings that lead to the $1.44 billion fine was Intel's rebate system, which only awarded discounted prices to companies that committed to buying the overwhelming majority of their products from the CPU manufacturer. Intel, for its part, thinks the EC got it all wrong; the company has filed an appeal in the European Court of First Instance. While it's already made arrangements to pay the fine in the third quarter, Intel hasn't copped to setting even a toe over the the letter of the law."We believe that our policies and practices have always been legal and aboveboard," London-based... Read more...
Microsoft has made a hostile takeover offer for Yahoo!. It would be difficult and time-consuming for Microsoft to try to catch up with Google in Internet searches and online advertising, but buying the moribund but prominent Yahoo! would likely vault them into a competitive second place. Google  doesn't like the idea, and is working tooth and nail to stop it.Publicly, Google came out against the deal, contending in a statement that the pairing, proposed by Microsoft on Friday in the form of a hostile offer, would pose threats to competition that need to be examined by policy makers around the world.Privately, Google, seeing the potential deal as a direct attack, went much further. Its chief... Read more...