In essence, the plaintiff claims the Apple iPod/iTunes ‘ecosystem’ locks out competitors. Non-Apple music players cannot play music purchased from the Apple iTunes store. iTunes only works with Apple’s iPod players.
Boo-hoo, cry me a river. Does the Apple music ecosystem lock out competitors? It sure does! Is it illegal? No. Is it worth spending taxpayer money for our government to meddle with Apple’s ecosystem? No.
Competitors will create a more open ecosystem. Amazon has already done so to much fanfare. Eventually, an open ecosystem will be developed that matches Apple’s sleek and sexy interface and hardware design.
If we all hated Apple’s music ecosystem, we wouldn’t use it.
Remember the last time we started meddling with what was perceived as a monopolistic technology giant? After much ballyhoo, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser war domination was toppled due to its own monopolistic laziness which bred the decay of IE. The best option for consumers was to download a higher quality competitor.
Our European friends feared Microsoft’s Windows Media Player would rule the world and forced MS to create a WMP-free Windows XP distribution (dubbed Windows XP N). Of course, nobody ever used this government mandated software.
Look what happened to Windows Media Player: Web video has moved to Flash based in-browser applets. iTunes dominates PCs and Macs for audio. WMP serves only as a base (crappy) media player for folks that don’t give a hoot which media player they use.
Don’t legislate competitiveness, Uncle Sam. Apple will f*** up soon enough, and someone will be ready to swoop in for the kill.
PS. Check out this EconTalk podcast to hear much smarter people talk much more cogently about why most antitrust regulation sucks.