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Discussion in 'General Game Discussion and Questions' started by Boardumb, Sep 30, 2020.
Womp womp https://toucharcade.com/2020/10/20/apple-pulling-stadium-google-stadia-app/
I probably should've downloaded it before it got pulled. I don't use Stadia but who knows, I might one day. Hopefully by then some other app takes its place.
I can't wait for Apple to get his with an anti-trust suit like Google.
Here’s why that’s not going to happen: as of July 2020, Google owns 86.6% of the worldwide search market. Apple owns about 13% of the worldwide smartphone market (though they get most of the profits). It’s simple: Apple does not have monopoly power in this market, hence it cannot use monopoly power to expand its reach (what Google is accused of — with good reason). Or, in other words, if Apple has an iPhone “monopoly,” then Nintendo has a Switch “monopoly,” Sony a PlayStation “monopoly” and so on. And that’s just a silly way of thinking about monopolies.
BTW, according to Stadium’s developer, the issue with Stadium was not streaming games but rather having WebKit use Bluetooth code(for game controller compatibility) in a proscribed way. Apparently this is something that the dev was aware of and was hoping would go unnoticed (he pointedly said that he didn’t “blame Apple,” though that could very well be playing politics).
No question Apple is falling behind by not supporting game streaming, just like they did in music by sticking to the $.99 single. But, just like with music, it’s going to be market forces that make them change, not an anti-trust suit. As I keep saying, if mobile game streaming is important to you, vote with your dollars (or whatever currency you use).
Antitrust suits aren't just about monopolies. They also deal with anticompetitive behavior. Behavior that the government has already accused Apple of.
If they win the suit against Google it will 100% happen. Especially since this suit is using Google's deal with Apple as a primary example of this behavior. Apple is directly implicated in these accusations.
Nintendo and gaming consoles could be next also for all I know. Nintendo is a huge price gouger. Just look at the prices they charge for mobile games. Cat Quest for example going for 10x the price it sells for on mobile. All of these industries have been relatively ignored by regulators till now. Who knows who they will investigate next.
A trust is a monopoly, dude. Anticompetitive behavior is when unrelated companies collude to control pricing in a particular marketplace — nobody is accusing Apple of doing that. In order for the federal government to go after Apple as a “trust,” congress would have to change the monopoly laws. As they are right now, they do not have a leg to stand on.
When you own a private market (and that’s what the App Store is), you get to set the rules in that market. Supermarkets charge food companies a lot to put their products on the shelves — and they still undercut them with cheaper house brands. Add a label to your product saying that you can buy it cheaper directly from the manufacturer? That product gets yanked from the shelves immediately. That’s American capitalism, and what Apple is doing is no differ. Not saying that’s a good thing, but it’s the system we (or at least I) live in. And I would think about it long and hard before we go about passing legislation to change it.
But antitrust laws still cover more than monopolies. You’re ignoring the Clayton Act, which covers anticompetitive behavior that threatens to create a monopoly or stifle the market.
The government also goes after companies when they’re only one of a few holding market power in the United States (not worldwide, whoever said that) and they act to keep it that way. Apple has around half the mobile app deployment market in the US by nature of selling half the phones (not even counting tablets yet, but they control 2/3 US market there).
Google has most of the other half, since almost all Android phones use Play Store regardless of manufacturer. On tablet I’d expect Amazon and Microsoft to split the other third, since Android tablets haven’t hit the stride Surface and Fire did, but dunno for sure.
So, ballparking phone vs tablet sales volume, across all mobile deployments that’s probably around 50% Apple, with the other 40-45% being Google, for mobile app distribution. So that triggers duopoly scrutiny, right there. And the other 5-10% is probably between Amazon and Microsoft. When your minority market are antitrust poster children on their own it’s not a great look.
Upshot is I think you’re oversimplifying. They’re vulnerable to antitrust regulation suits if people want to find a justification badly enough—the only difference between a giant “acting to keep it that way” and a new entrant “trying to convert the market” is size and level of success so far.
Anything aggressive can be spun as anticompetitive—for example, pulling an app for things not already in the dev agreement when they work around your barrier to competition in an unexpected way.
Lack of sideload makes them much more so than the others in app space, in fact, because there’s no workaround for their users either, not just their devs. It’s not just the most popular App Store like on Android, it’s the only one allowed—yet another barrier.
Apple in particular has made the assumption you can just lock people in and then do whatever you want to the vertical market created by their presence when they’re too entangled into ecosystem to emigrate. I’ll be shocked if that isn’t shaken a bit by regulation before the dust all settles on FAANG scrutiny.
It’s entirely possible the streaming service uproar will be what does it, given their Arcade and Apple One rollout. It’s bad optics to build a game subscription service, announce a bigger bundled version of the same (bundling already being a flag in these sorts of things), then refuse competing services to have equal presence on platform through any way shape or form.
That’s pretty equivalent to what Microsoft was doing with web browsers (keeping in mind they also weren’t a monopoly in the technical sense) if they were their own OEM and actually prevented you from installing Netscape, not just banned it from being part of the first run experience. Apple is exerting much tighter control, and is enjoying about the same level of bad guy press as Microsoft in the 90s. I think it’ll go places.