The names Apple, Google and Facebook were given. The word theft has been repeated many times

"Apple, Google and Facebook play unfair (...) They take our ideas and then block our products." Sonos, Tile, Basecamp and many others are fed up with IT giants in their opinion of leaders abusing their positions.

Officials around the world are slowly beginning to see a problem that arises from the growing influence in leading corporate technologies. The authorities of the United States, the European Union, Russia and China have launched numerous investigations to examine the practices of leading companies in the industry and their impact on the market and society. However, these efforts mainly focus on the processing of our data by these companies and the protection of our privacy. Some say this is not enough.

Representatives of smaller companies (well, they are not so small, although in fact compared to IT industry leaders they do not mean much) they have developed a common position , which was then presented to the US Congress. In their opinion, Google, Apple and Facebook have repeatedly abused their leading position in the market, in effect making smaller companies may soon disappear from the market. The accusations are strong and the word theft is repeatedly mentioned in them.

"Imagine a football match. We may have the best team, but the owner of the other team is also the owner of the stadium, the ball and the entire league, and he can change the rules of the game during the match. "

A frequent and repetitive complaint is the need to share profits with app store operators. This alone is not a bad thing - after all, it can be compared to renting a premises from the owner of a shopping mall. The small business collective notes, however, that the situation changes when the store operator starts a service that directly competes with the one offered so far by one of them.

Inevitably, the services of smaller companies must be more expensive, and therefore less competitive, because the store operator does not have to pay commission for the sale of applications and subscriptions. In addition, you cannot inform your customers in applications that you can buy a subscription through a website - you risk removing the application from places such as the App Store.

Complaints are also made by the developers of applications and services who were thrown out of the App Store just because Apple decided to introduce the function they offer to their operating system. A common example is a function of complaints against screen time recently introduced to iOS, allowing the user to check how much time we spend with the device and in which applications. Since its introduction into the system, App Store moderators have gradually begun cleaning its assortment of apps that have been present in it for many years and offer similar functions.

Application stores are not the only problem.

The representative of the company Tile noticed that when Apple enters a new market for itself - but already developed by a smaller competitor - it does its best to make life more difficult. Tile manufactures Bluetooth locators. These were sold, among others, in the Apple Store, but when the giant decided to create a similar solution under his own brand, he removed Tile's equipment from his range.

To make matters worse, iOS 13 began to alert users when an application uses the geolocation function , suggesting to revoke its permissions. The notification is periodically displayed to users of the Time app and cannot be completely rejected. The Apple Locator app, which is used for almost the same thing, does not cause the system to display similar notifications. Tile also notes that neither his service nor other similar services can take advantage of the benefits of the U1 integrated circuit in iPhones 11, which provides much more accurate information about geolocation. Only Apple services use U1.

Tile is accompanied by Spotify, who notes that Apple Music is not only pre-installed on iPhones, it is also intensively promoted in the App Store and artificially positioned in the Apple app repository search results.

There were no allegations of theft.

Such is put, among others, by Sonos, a well-known manufacturer of intelligent speakers, which claims that Google and Amazon steal solutions patented by him in their competitive products. Besides, Sonos has already sued both companies in a European court, and is preparing for a legal offensive in the United States.

Google and Amazon have also become the addressee of numerous accusations from the collective - not only Apple is to be the bad here. PopSockets, a manufacturer of mobile phone accessories, claims that it was directly and simply forced by Amazon to reduce the price of its products to the level of Asian counterfeits of its gadgets. Asked to do something in return with these counterfeits, Amazon reportedly did nothing about it, exposing PopSockets - as found by David Barnett, the founder of the company - to $ 10 million in losses.

In turn, Basecamp complains about Google and its promotion of the G Suite service, which, according to the company's representative, is so strongly and artificially positioned in Google Search that it is impossible to appear in its results in an organic way. Basecamp regularly pays tens of thousands of dollars in commercial positioning in this Search Engine to be able to reach the customer.

Facebook also got it, although it was hit mainly for - let's call it - ideological reasons. The decision of the social giant to allow paid promotion of any content of political election campaigns, including those containing false information, raises unanimous concern of all affiliates.

"Help us Congress, you are our only hope."

The situation, contrary to appearances, is not so obvious. Apple, Google and Facebook did not take their wealth and influence out of nowhere. They worked hard for it, cleverness, resourcefulness and innovation. It is hard to blame them for wanting to harvest their long-term investments. One could even risk the thesis that if it had not been for the platforms created by these companies, most of the complainant entities referred to above would not have existed.

However, it is hard not to notice the fact that the enormous power over the market of these three companies causes the complainants' deepening problems. It is therefore worth considering whether we really want to operate in a market reality created by only a few entities. However, this will be assessed by the most competent and highest-ranking American lawyers, probably after numerous consultations with external experts. Their decision will have a huge impact on the future of digital services and the related business ecosystem.



The names Apple, Google and Facebook were given. The word 'theft' has been repeated many times

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