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  • Robert Reich: "Leave Apple Alone!"


    The former US Secretary of Labor has a message for the Federal Trade Commission, which is reportedly considering a lawsuit against Apple: investigate big banks instead. Robert Reich says that it is an"absurd double standard" that the US regulatory agency can prevent companies from engaging in unfair competition… so long as they're not in the financial industry.

    Reich was the head of Bill Clinton's Labor Department from 1993 to 1997 and was a strong advocate of technology education for US workers. Since leaving the government the former Harvard professor returned to academia as a Berkeley professor and has been a frequent talk-show guest and commentator. In his blog post (cross-posted at The Huffington Post and elsewhere), Reich excoriated the FTC for "not even raising an eyebrow about" Wall Street and what he refers to as the "huge and growing economic (and political) muscle" of the five giant US banks. He argues that Apple is no monopoly, saying that "if consumers disagree they can buy platforms elsewhere. Apple was the world's #3 smartphone supplier in 2009, with 16.2 percent of worldwide market share. RIM was #2, with 18.8 percent." Nokia, of course, is still #1.

    As Reich points out, by law the FTC is prohibited from regulating banks. It does have the job of regulating other parts of the economy, though: by law. The point that the government should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time is a good one, but if Apple is acting in a way that stifles competition (and it's a big "if," there), then it wouldn't seem more fair to be "hands off Apple," as Reich demands, than it would be to "cut the big banks down to size."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Robert Reich: "Leave Apple Alone!" started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. jordbrett's Avatar
      jordbrett -
      Eh apple can handle themselves but I wouldn't mind seeing them get knocked down a peg or two
    1. DisneyRicky's Avatar
      DisneyRicky -
      I agree
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      i'm still not sure if the leave britney alone person is a guy or a girl
    1. dantone's Avatar
      dantone -
      I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. " Thomas Jefferson "
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      I see his point, but it does not diminish the validity of the FTC looking into Apple's business processes. Both industries need some serious work.
    1. iphoneprogrammer's Avatar
      iphoneprogrammer -
      Apple needs to get knocked down a few hundred poles, they're letting their reptuation get the better of them. My relationship with apple is a love-hate relationship. Love thier products hate thier anti jailbreak and other ******** beliefs.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Wow really paul? LMAO. You're photoshop skills are priceless!
    1. billmilo's Avatar
      billmilo -
      They're ok with lawsuits when M$ does this kind of stuff.
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Actually that lawsuit never carried through. Apparently IE is a part of the OS, and "can't" be removed.

      Either way, win 7 ftw.
    1. Imsorussian's Avatar
      Imsorussian -
      Definately apple is putting them selfs over a lottle too much like charging $130 more for 16gb ipad wifi+3g over just the plain wifi version when the chip that makes the ipad receive 3g signal only costs $7. Thats funcked up
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      You do know how much the parts of the wifi version cost too don't you. It is a business and all businesses charge more than it costs for the parts.


      Take your car in for repair and sometimes the parts are like 75$ but they charge you a couple hundred.
    1. Pitbull2o08's Avatar
      Pitbull2o08 -
      it's ok.... how much did apple make last year? they can afford it...
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      that is some mad photoshop skillz
    1. Luppin's Avatar
      Luppin -
      Quote Originally Posted by cerote View Post
      You do know how much the parts of the wifi version cost too don't you. It is a business and all businesses charge more than it costs for the parts.


      Take your car in for repair and sometimes the parts are like 75$ but they charge you a couple hundred.
      I think $130 for a $7 part is a little extreme but you can't blame anyone but Apple's core user base which consistently pays a premium for gadgets that cost a lot less than they're sold for.

      And on the topic of auto repair, the parts for some repairs might cost $75 (Usually a lot more considering most people let their cars turn to crap before they actually do anything about it) but factor in how a relatively simple car repair is billed for 4 hours, and it's easy to see how a good technician's pay ($25/h) plus the shop's cut can turn into a couple hundred dollar service.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Take the car to a dealer and they make you pay a minimum of an hour's work no matter if it takes 10 mins to change it. Some charge 175$ an hour for labor.

      Same type. You are paying for premium service because you are dealing with the people that know the cars inside and out. Apple products are backed by a top notch customer service and warrenty.

      It does suck the upmark of prices. But that is what businesses do to stay a business.
    1. Fodd1337's Avatar
      Fodd1337 -
      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      i'm still not sure if the leave britney alone person is a guy or a girl
      To the world's surprise... guy.