Google: Another Court Decision, Another Appeal, Rinse, Repeat

December 12, 2023

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

How long will the “loss” be tied up in courts? Answer: As long as possible.

I am going to skip the “what Google did” reports and focus on what I think is a quite useful list. The items in the list apply to Apple and Google, and I am not sure the single list is the best way to present what may be “clever” ways to dominate a market. But I will stick with what Echelon provided at this YCombinator link.


Two warring samurai find that everyone in the restaurant is a customer. The challenge becomes getting “more.” Thanks, MSFT Copilot. Good enough.

What does the list present? I interpreted the post as a “racket analysis.” Your mileage may vary:

Apple is horrible, but Google isn’t blameless.

Google and Apple are a duopoly that controls one of the most essential devices of our time. Their racket extends more broadly than Standard Oil. The smartphone is a critical piece of modern life, and these two companies control every aspect of them.

  • Tax 30%
  • Control when and how software can be deployed
  • Can pull software or deny updates
  • Prevent web downloads (Apple)
  • Sell ads on top of your app name or brand
  • Scare / confuse users about web downloads or app installs (Google)
  • Control the payment rails
  • Enforce using their identity and customer management (Apple)
  • Enforce using their payment rails (Apple)
  • Becoming the de-facto POS payment methods (for even more taxation)
  • Partnering with governments to be identity providers
  • Default search provider
  • Default browser
  • Prevent other browser runtimes (Apple)
  • Prevent browser tech from being comparable to native app installs (mostly Apple)
  • Unfriendly to repairs
  • Unfriendly to third party components (Apple)
  • Battery not replaceable
  • Unofficial pieces break core features due to cryptographic signing (Apple)
  • Updates obsolete old hardware
  • Green bubbles (Apple)
  • Tactics to cause FOMO in children (Apple)
  • Growth into media (movie studios, etc.) to keep eyeballs on their platforms (Apple)
  • Growth into music to keep eyeballs on their platforms

There are no other companies in the world with this level of control over such an important, cross-cutting, cross-functional essential item. If we compared the situation to auto manufacturers, there would be only two providers, you could only fuel at their gas stations, they’d charge businesses every time you visit, they’d display ads constantly, and you’d be unable to repair them without going to the provider. There need to be more than two providers. And if we can’t get more than two providers, then most of these unfair advantages need to be rolled back by regulators. This is horrific.

My team and I leave it to you to draw conclusions about the upsides and downsides of a techno feudal set up. What’s next? Appeals, hearings, trials, judgment, appeals, hearings, and trials. Change? Unlikely for now.

Stephen E Arnold, December 12, 2023


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