US Govt sues Apple

I’m curious about the biblical position on extensive market regulation. I’m sure most guys here would argue for minimal set of regulation, but what happens when the US govt says you need to allow new app stores and such?

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13 posts were split to a new topic: Intellectual Property laws

It is a good question, but we got sidetracked. Anybody want to try again on this?

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When I read Biblical law I find virtually no market regulation, other than prohibitions on clear moral evils like theft, assault, and unjust weights and measures. And in my understanding the laws of economics point in that direction as well.

It’s pretty nuts that Apple is getting sued for being a monopoly when they barely have a majority of US smartphone sales (60.77%), and a rather small minority of computer sales (16.1%). Now I know that the law is targeting anti-competitive practices rather than strict monopolies, but when the the word monopoly is getting redefined from its dictionary definition, I think we should be very suspicious.

In my understanding a true monopoly is virtually always government enforced. The power company has a monopoly because the government only allows one power company in each area. In my state hospitals have a near-monopoly, because the government regulates who can have hospital beds. So it is pretty rich when the institution that creates monopolies goes after companies for being monopolies that simply aren’t.

I also worry at how much arbitrary power laws like this give the federal government to harass companies, if not outright destroy them. This article talks about potentially breaking up Apple, and the standards they are using could be applied to any number of large companies. If a company resists the government on some issue I could see that being an impetus for antitrust attacks.

I’ve rambled a bit from your original question. Requiring a company to take certain actions, like allowing competing app stores, that could be a bit less damaging than outright breaking up a company, but I don’t see much more justification. And it could have catastrophic effects for the business, as the government regulators may simply not understand the business model, and tweaks could destroy things. I see no reason for it, particularly in as competitive space as smartphones and computers. If customers want to sideload apps they can - just buy an Android. That’s what I did. We don’t need the government to make that decision for us. Customers and companies know what is best for them, and they will do a better job fixing any issues with the market than the government can.


I found the title of the article hilarious. “… Accusing [Apple] of Maintaining an iPhone Monopoly.” To your point, @hornj, the government prohibits any other company in the world from making iPhones, so what did they expect? :slight_smile:

I know that’s not the reality of the suit, but still…


Other than business transactions of any kind being forbidden ~24 hours out of every week. Other than charging interest being completely forbidden (there goes the “capital” part of capitalism). Other than sales of farmland being strictly regulated by paternal descent.

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There was a distinction in the law between your brother and a foreigner though:

“You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countrymen you shall not charge interest, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess.” - Deuteronomy 23:20

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Yeah, fair enough. My “completely forbidden” assertion was wrong. But it still counts as a substantial regulation of the market IMHO.


An important element to the discussion is establishing what it is that an iPhone user actually owns. It’s easy enough to establish that the iPhone owner owns the hardware, but the software and licensing and all that gets much more complex.

I guess I would need to read all the fine print in the IOS and macOS software agreements before I could even begin to form an opinion about this?