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M384 - Motion to Encourage European Commission Investigation Into Apple Watch

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    More government intervention, it surely can not be!

    House, defeat this motion!
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    Aye!
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    (Original post by mobbsy91)
    Nay - Apple is my friend!
    (Original post by hazzer1998)
    Nay ! Apple is love , Apple is life !
    I would ask you to base your votes on the content of the motion and Apple's conduct rather than your opinions of its products.

    (Original post by DanE1998)
    Isn't this why we have MEPs?
    (Original post by PetrosAC)
    MEU and MHOC aren't connected (at least as of yet) and the MEU isn't exactly up and running.

    Nay though
    MEPs are not members of the European Commission and cannot make it launch an investigation for breach of competition law. Even once the MEU is set up, it would not be capable of legislating to this effect (assuming it adopts the existing Treaties).

    Also, Petros, might I ask why? These rules are in place to keep the free market functioning well.

    (Original post by Life_peer)
    Is there anything in the whole world that is more interesting than ****ing European competition law?
    FTFY.

    Apple's closed ecosystem allows for much better user experience and if it means overpriced proprietary cables or specific software to access my own device, I don't really care as long as it works considerably better than the competition. I do not support this motion.
    Competition law is a fundamental pillar of maintaining the benefits of the free market. These reasons indicate that you are in favour of a (corporate) command economy.

    (Original post by joecphillips)
    Nay, worldwide Samsung are in a better position and android have over 80% of the market.
    (Original post by The Financier)
    I strongly contest the first belief which leads me to a minor Nay in regards to this motion. According to Kantar, the market share of the iOS platform is currently around 19.1% in the EU5 countries compared to the market-share of the Android platform at 74.3%. It would be disingenuous to portray Apple as having a dominant position within the European smartphone market. The UK has a noticeably greater proportion of upmarket smartphones, Apple's target market, than most other member states which leads to greater market-share here, but it is not the same picture elsewhere. In Spain, 90% of the market use Android smartphones.

    It is for this reason that the Commission is targeting Android currently rather than Apple. Whilst I agree in principle with some of the objections raised with regards to the walled-garden system of the iOS platform, it does not have sufficient market share to be considered as having a dominant position. Those who dislike the walled-garden approach of the iOS platform can switch to alternative platforms, as other platforms offer upmarket substitutes. Android in comparison has de facto control over the mid-market and entry-level systems.
    I am not contesting the operating system here, I am suggesting that Apple is dominant in the market for the phones themselves. 'Android' is not a firm, and accordingly cannot be dominant in any market (google may be dominant in the market for smartphone operating systems). However, I am not suggesting that is dominant in the smartphone operating system market, but rather that Apple is dominant in the market for hardware - within the EU at least. This is possible even if they have a marginally lower market share than Samsung, as market dominance is not assessed solely based on market share.

    Furthermore, I am not asking the House to conduct the full economic study itself, but rather to support one being undertaken by the European Commission.
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    (Original post by BenC1997)
    More government intervention, it surely can not be!

    House, defeat this motion!
    Government intervention which is the only thing preventing market failure.
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    Pointless to put this to the MHoC, it doesn't concern us.

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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Competition law is a fundamental pillar of maintaining the benefits of the free market. These reasons indicate that you are in favour of a (corporate) command economy.
    If by the benefits of free market you mean the constant imitation and patent wars, then perhaps it's not so good after all…

    Anyway, let's take it from another angle. According to you, what should Apple /be forced to/ do differently?
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    The European Commission's regulation of competition is technocratic. If there were an issue, it would deal with it. Let them perform their technical task.

    Rather presumptuous of the Socialists to presume they have a better understanding of EU competition law than the European Commission themselves.
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    (Original post by Life_peer)
    If by the benefits of free market you mean the constant imitation and patent wars, then perhaps it's not so good after all…

    Anyway, let's take it from another angle. According to you, what should Apple /be forced to/ do differently?
    Apple should be forced to adopt FRAND licensing terms for production of equivalents to their proprietary cable (this has precedent), and permit use of software other than iTunes with iOS smartphones and music players (I'm aware this is just about possible but it's far too difficult for the common user).

    (Original post by tengentoppa)
    The European Commission's regulation of competition is technocratic. If there were an issue, it would deal with it. Let them perform their technical task.

    Rather presumptuous of the Socialists to presume they have a better understanding of EU competition law than the European Commission themselves.
    The European Commission's competition investigations take place, more often than not, upon referral from a Member State. I am not saying that I, or any other socialist member, has a better understanding of EU competition law than the EC themselves. That is why this motion is not saying that Apple is guilty of anticompetitive conduct, and is not simply asking the EC to apply sanctions. Rather, I am saying that it seems possible that Apple is thus guilty, and accordingly an EC investigation is warranted.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    I am not contesting the operating system here, I am suggesting that Apple is dominant in the market for the phones themselves. 'Android' is not a firm, and accordingly cannot be dominant in any market (google may be dominant in the market for smartphone operating systems). However, I am not suggesting that is dominant in the smartphone operating system market, but rather that Apple is dominant in the market for hardware - within the EU at least. This is possible even if they have a marginally lower market share than Samsung, as market dominance is not assessed solely based on market share.

    Furthermore, I am not asking the House to conduct the full economic study itself, but rather to support one being undertaken by the European Commission.
    The point of my post is that it's a non-issue. Whilst Apple controls the "iPhone market" and have strict restrictions on aspects of the platform such as the hardware, users are not forced to use that platform/phone and the small marketshare of iOS shows that it cannot stop its customers from switching to another phone. If you don't want to have to get a lightning cable, don't get an iPhone. If you don't want to get locked into iOS, then get a phone which doesn't use iOS. Simple. It is a feature of the product itself which users can choose to accept. When I open my student bank account with Santander, I contractually limit my interest-free overdraft limit to £1500 whereas I could get £3000 at HSBC. The bank is not dominating it's position to keep my overdraft lower than others, it is simply a feature of the product it's offering and if it's something I'm unhappy with, I can just go to HSBC. You do not have to get a phone with proprietary cables if you don't want to.

    Nowhere in my post did I suggest that the house is conducting the economic study. You're calling for the EC to investigate on grounds which are not relevant/accurate in reality.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Apple should be forced to adopt FRAND licensing terms for production of equivalents to their proprietary cable (this has precedent), and permit use of software other than iTunes with iOS smartphones and music players (I'm aware this is just about possible but it's far too difficult for the common user).
    So by your line of argumentation, this is fundamental for maintaining the benefits of the free market, correct?

    Are people forced to buy Apple products? If they buy Apple products, are they forced to buy other proprietary cables from Apple? Are there no cables which fulfil the same function available on the market?

    As for the software, there are technical advantages to a closed platform which easily outbalance the drawbacks. You also lack the authority to judge what is too difficult for the common user so I don't consider that a valid argument.
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    (Original post by The Financier)
    The point of my post is that it's a non-issue. Whilst Apple controls the "iPhone market" and have strict restrictions on aspects of the platform such as the hardware, users are not forced to use that platform/phone and the small marketshare of iOS shows that it cannot stop its customers from switching to another phone. If you don't want to have to get a lightning cable, don't get an iPhone. If you don't want to get locked into iOS, then get a phone which doesn't use iOS. Simple. It is a feature of the product itself which users can choose to accept. When I open my student bank account with Santander, I contractually limit my interest-free overdraft limit to £1500 whereas I could get £3000 at HSBC. The bank is not dominating it's position to keep my overdraft lower than others, it is simply a feature of the product it's offering and if it's something I'm unhappy with, I can just go to HSBC. You do not have to get a phone with proprietary cables if you don't want to.

    Nowhere in my post did I suggest that the house is conducting the economic study. You're calling for the EC to investigate on grounds which are not relevant/accurate in reality.
    You misunderstand the point of the post. Tying or bundling is abuse by leveraging dominance in one market to effect dominance in another. This is especially bad in the case of a proprietary technology (read: the cable), since Apple is leveraging its position in the smartphone market to effect monopoly in the lightning cable market, but it is also a problem in the software market - Apple is leveraging its dominance to get more users of iTunes (and consequently the iTunes store etc).
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    (Original post by Life_peer)
    So by your line of argumentation, this is fundamental for maintaining the benefits of the free market, correct?

    Are people forced to buy Apple products? If they buy Apple products, are they forced to buy other proprietary cables from Apple? Are there no cables which fulfil the same function available on the market?

    As for the software, there are technical advantages to a closed platform which easily outbalance the drawbacks. You also lack the authority to judge what is too difficult for the common user so I don't consider that a valid argument.
    First, in response to the bolded: this is something Apple actively tries to prevent, and I would lay good odds that a very significant number of people use iTunes to sync music to Apple devices. I know I personally do, and that's despite the fact that iTunes is a terrible pos software on computers other than Macs.

    As for the rest, see the post above.

    Fundamentally, I need to reiterate: I am not asking the House to condemn Apple's conduct, merely to recommend that it be checked out.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    You misunderstand the point of the post. Tying or bundling is abuse by leveraging dominance in one market to effect dominance in another. This is especially bad in the case of a proprietary technology (read: the cable), since Apple is leveraging its position in the smartphone market to effect monopoly in the lightning cable market, but it is also a problem in the software market - Apple is leveraging its dominance to get more users of iTunes (and consequently the iTunes store etc).
    You're also misunderstanding the point of my post. Users are fully aware that the purchase of an iPhone leads to the requirements of purchasing proprietary lightning cables and the use of iTunes, the App Store etc. These are ultimately features of the overall product. Yes, their product leads to stricter control over a feature of it's phone, the cable, but users do not have to purchase the phone if they do not wish to be locked into purchasing the cable and can switch to a provider which offers a substitute experience without the feature they dislike. It is clear to iPhone customers that their purchase will necessitate the additional purchase of proprietary technology and platform restrictions and if they disagree with this, they can avoid this accordingly by not getting an iPhone. The market-share data demonstrates that users aren't locked into the iPhone and therefore not locked into the lightning cable market or the App store if they don't want to be.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    You misunderstand the point of the post. Tying or bundling is abuse by leveraging dominance in one market to effect dominance in another. This is especially bad in the case of a proprietary technology (read: the cable), since Apple is leveraging its position in the smartphone market to effect monopoly in the lightning cable market, but it is also a problem in the software market - Apple is leveraging its dominance to get more users of iTunes (and consequently the iTunes store etc).
    I don't see any issue…

    The lightning connector was developed by Apple and is used almost exclusively by Apple products, so it's nothing special that they have a monopoly ‘in the lightning cable market’. Do patents not have the same effect? If I invent something and patent it, others can licence it if I let them, buy the finished product if I let them, or **** off.

    Are iTunes users forced to use iTunes Music Store or pay for the use of iTunes in any way? Are Apple customers whose products require iTunes to function properly not explicitly informed of the fact prior to the purchase? As I said, the use of their own software provides technical advantages which outbalance the drawbacks and there's no evidence this ‘dominance’ provides them with an unfair advantage over the competition.
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    (Original post by The Financier)
    You're also misunderstanding the point of my post. Users are fully aware that the purchase of an iPhone leads to the requirements of purchasing proprietary lightning cables and the use of iTunes, the App Store etc. These are ultimately features of the overall product. Yes, their product leads to stricter control over a feature of it's phone, the cable, but users do not have to purchase the phone if they do not wish to be locked into purchasing the cable and can switch to a provider which offers a substitute experience without the feature they dislike. It is clear to iPhone customers that their purchase will necessitate the additional purchase of proprietary technology and platform restrictions and if they disagree with this, they can avoid this accordingly by not getting an iPhone.
    The problem is not the impact on customers, but the impact on competitors, actual or potential, in other markets.
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    homophobic
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    homophobic
    what?
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    This is a horribly formatted motion with little evidence in terms of links. Lets not start the term on such a low quality ebb.

    As for the matter of hand i actually think you have somewhat of point and there's a lot of logic to your position however the counter argument (and it's the same situation in the printer/ink market) is that the competition exists when you buy a phone, the apps are simply extensions of that device.

    I'd probably abstain if some effort had gone into the presentation.
 
 
 
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