In a stock-market being propped up by the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, the skew at the top is very worrisome for the future of wealth inequality in America. 2020 is the era of technology AI conglomerates.
If the U.S. wants to keep playing this way China will just create even more powerful AI-Tech state controlled ones such as Alibaba, ByteDance, Huawei and so forth.
The sad part about the 4th industrial revolution is companies like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google aren’t seeing any true antitrust regulation that makes sense for AI ethics and wealth equality in the world.
This is pushing ‘greed is good’ capitalism to more absurd heights that could have irreversible damage on global capitalism that is increasingly being manipulated. What is the point of protesting about racial inequality when the system is rigged?
While everyone is bullish on a bubble stock market and Apple hitting an all-time high, Apple still scrapes 30% of the profits off of its monopolistic app store. In June 2020 the EU opened an Apple antitrust investigation into App Store and Apple Pay practices. This should have happened years ago.
In a world of the American and Chinese abuses of technology companies, it’s only the lowly EU that seems to care about equality and fair practices. The SEC has been sleeping for decades, likely being paid by the lobbyists of these companies. The last time the S&P had this kind of skew at the top was 2001.
History does repeat itself. This is not healthy. Apple and Google are getting scared of antitrust investigations. But they did not become Titans of Technology by playing a game that was good for the innovation economy.
If you think ByteDance is going after Silicon Valley’s talent, you haven’t seen anything yet. The European Commission is opening two antitrust investigations into Apple’s App Store and Apple Pay practices as of June 16th, 2020. The fines will keep coming for Google, Apple and others. This is because they are abusing their power.
Let’s face it, Apple is not just greedy, it abuses its brand name, a bit like Nike or ByteDance will do. The first investigation will probe whether Apple has broken EU competition rules with its App Store policies, following complaints by Spotify and Rakuten over Apple’s 30 percent cut on subscriptions and sales of ebooks through its App Store. Apple is the epitome of American greed.
Spotify has claimed Apple uses its App Store to stifle innovation and limit consumer choice in favor of its own Apple Music service. Google and Apple have abused their duopoly on app stores for as long we all can remember. Monopolies in technology just became the new normal, thanks to a lack of regulation in how the internet companies were founded and allowed to develop.
The EU’s investigations concern in particular the mandatory use of Apple’s own proprietary in-app purchase system and restrictions on the ability of developers to inform iPhone and iPad users of alternative cheaper purchasing possibilities outside of apps. This is such common knowledge that we rarely even talk about it.
The problem? China will clone this corrupt model of duopolies and out-do America. Apple, Google and Facebook aren’t innovative enough to keep up, even with the protection of Congress from anti-trust fines and being broken up. Even Amazon by 2030 won’t be able to compete with China.
Apple is fearful, it’s scrambling to avoid any shame in this. Apple is considering letting iPhone users change the default browser and email apps on their phones. What a great actor. Apple has played both sides, playing Trump and playing China. It’s just business. But Apple should have a bad conscience in how it has attained this market cap.
Apple has used the worst kind of monopolistic behavior in order to stay ahead. The Verge goes on: alongside the App Store investigation, the European Commission will also look at Apple Pay to assess whether Apple’s payment system violates EU competition rules.
Apple has limited access to the Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality of its iPhone and Apple Watch devices, a move that means banks and other financial service providers can’t offer NFC payments through their own apps.
Too much technology everywhere from the same monopolies isn’t innovation, it’s bad actor conglomerate behavior. We have to assume Apple, Google, Microsoft have already reached that point and Amazon will too soon enough. But America is regulated on greed, not on equality, ethics or fair play in capitalism.
As these few Big Tech stocks hold up the entire market, let’s just admit we are corrupt and make changes. Otherwise equality will keep plummeting in favor of the profit of a few.
At least let’s be honest about what we’ve created: a surveillance based conglomerate abuse state with a market capitalism so warped, with such a lack of rules, that China will beat us at our own game. The’s the “Future Sin” of Big Tech and Silicon Valley that we’ll be known for, after companies like Apple, Google and Facebook no longer exist. If you thought technology was moving fast before 2020, you haven’t seen anything yet.