Big fine from FTC and FCC

AT&T to pay $105 million in unauthorized charges settlment

News

FTC claims T-Mobile charged customers millions for bogus SMS subscription fees [Updated]

Apps

Snapchat settles with the FTC over privacy concerns, will be monitored for 20 years

News

Apple sends out refund instructions for unauthorized in-app purchases

Links

Did the FTC unfairly target Apple and let Google get away in-app free?

Editorial

DOJ vs. FTC: Apple knows when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em

News

FTC ropes Apple for at least another $32 million in in-app purchase repayments

News

FTC may sue Google over antitrust violations stemming from FRAND patent abuse

News

Apple responds to DOJ, claims they fight for innovation and competition in the face of Amazon's ebook monopoly

News

Apple and publishers reportedly willing to abandon iBooks "agency model" to appease Justice Department

News

Apple subpoenaed by the FTC in Google antitrust probe

News

Adobe confirms Flash Player mobile is dead

News

Adobe announces Flash Media Server 4.5, will deliver video to iPhone, iPad

News

FTC investigating Smurfberries, other in-app purchases

Editorial

Investigating Apple

Editorial

Adobe: Apple is being very mean to Flash

News

Microsoft and Adobe holding secret anti-Apple meetings?

News

Justice Department orders Apple, Google, others to end ban on cross-hiring

News

Adobe thinks Apple's new cross-compiler policy is great, lack of support for (non-existant) Flash player not so much...

Editorial

Adobe Flash gives up on iPhone, gives out on Android?

< >

Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission jostling over inquiry into Apple restriction on cross-compilers

Steve Jobs iPhone iPad MacBook

Citing the usual "people familiar with the matter", the New York Post claims the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commissions are negotiating over which one of their organizations will inquire into Apple's new iPhone OS 4 SDK section 3.3.1 -- the restriction against cross-compilers in general and Adobe's Flash CS5 Packager for iPhone in specific.

It will focus on whether the policy, which took effect last month, kills competition by forcing programmers to choose between developing apps that can run only on Apple gizmos or come up with apps that are platform neutral, and can be used on a variety of operating systems, such as those from rivals Google, Microsoft and Research In Motion.

Which, while I'm not a lawyer or headline-seeking politico, doesn't sound like anything remotely approaching actionable behavior. Inquiry doesn't mean investigation, however, much less charges are pending. Apple could just as easily be absolved since they're not a monopoly in smartphones and competition in the app space is thriving.

Neither the DOJ, FTC, or Apple is commenting yet, so this could also just be one of those test-baloons-via-media-attention. Steve Jobs has recently written on the issue of cross-compilers in general in his Thoughts on Flash open letter.

Apple believes cross-compilers aren't in the best interests of their platform, and in the United States of America, absent monopolistic or other forms of illegal abuse, doesn't Apple get to decide how they want to run their own platform? And aren't developers equally free to vote with their apps and, if they don't like Apple's choices, develop for other platforms and take their user-bases with them?

[NY Post via 9to5Mac]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts

 

-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...

← Previously

Best of Smartphone Experts, 2 May 2010

Next up →

Quick Review: Pages for iPad

Reader comments

Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission jostling over inquiry into Apple restriction on cross-compilers

41 Comments

Developers should be able to develop using whatever tools they see fit and have the quality of the app(code) be evaluated, not simply be rejected becase they used a tool that enables them to easily create the same app for other platforms. You can have quality with cross-compiling tools just like you can have garbage coded in native. About time to bring that big screen with Steve Jobs on it crashing down.

I hope this lets Steve back down. Thank you Steve for throwing us info how cross-compilers are bad for apps, but ya know what? Who cares! Let Developers develop in what ever language they want, and if it's bad, people won't buy it. Stop pissing off developers steve! They've taken too much abuse from the app store alone.

The FCC is wasting its time. They basically have nothing other than to look at Apple sternly and say "No, you!"

I don't get how Apple is wrong here... shouldn't they get to decide what software runs on their products? Couldn't inferior product/programming hurt the sales of its own devices?

@Daniel I agree with you. I'm all for the freedom to use whatever tools to develop software, but if a company says you can't use a particular software to develop for a device they created, I'll just go somewhere else, not complain.

You don't have to have a monopoly in order to engage in anti-competitive behavior. The quality argument doesn't fly here - there is a whole lot of crap that is in the App Store and continuing to be approved daily. Forcing developers to code specifically to your platform is clearly anti-competitive. Whether anyone in a position to do anything about it, also has the will to do so, remains to be seen.

@Rene
A lawyer, or else you would realize it depends on how you define the market, rather than assume the most favorable one to Apple applies. To take the salient quote from your article, which will be the core of Apple's argument in any such investigation:
"they’re not a monopoly in smartphones and competition in the app space is thriving"
The smartphone market is irrelevant, because section 3.3.1 does not refer to the smartphone market as a whole, merely the app market. (I would add that section 3.3.1 is precisely aimed at making it more difficult to port apps between smartphones, but the market for different smartphones overall truly is irrelevant.) The follow-up questions then become:
1) Is the app market large enough to warrant an inquiry/investigation/charges on its own, and
In 2009, the Mobile App Market as a whole was about $4 billion, probably not enough to bother, but it is projected to double this year, and grow to over 21 billion by 2013. With that trajectory, the FTC might want to get involved sooner, rather than later after an MS-style 800 lb gorilla is embedded.
2) Is Apple's presence large enough in that market, and its behavior of concern to the FTC?
You may claim that competition in the App Market is thriving, but the numbers do not bear that out when 99.4% of mobile app sales last year went through Apple's store (Source: http://tinyurl.com/yccw9wc ) By any measure, a percentage that high is overwhelmingly dominant, and could be construed as a monopoly whose actions and policies reverberate far past their own pond.
If the FTC thinks a $20 billion market is worthy of regulation and a 99.4% share reaches the monopoly threshold, Apple will need to make some concessions in their behavior to ward off the regulatory watchdogs.

I think this may well be actionable under US law.
Its a little like Ford telling a car seat manufacturer that they must use buy their sewing machines from Ford, must drive to work in Fords, and must ship their product in fords. All this on the thin theory that anything that touches a Chevy is somehow inferior.
If you can't see the abuse here you have a fairly crippled sense of right and wrong.
And people need to stop throwing that monopoly word around. That has NEVER been the only prerequisite for federal trade regulations.

This is wishful thinking on someone's part. The justice department doesn't generally leak info regarding most things actionable.

yeah, bust them! Steve Jobs in Jail :)
Prisoner "Hey, why are you here?"
Steve Jobs "I didn't want cross-compiler generated Apps to reach my Appstore. This would have been the best way to grow sales for the Macintosh, because everyone needed to buy a Mac to publish Iphone-Apps...the Macintosh, you know, our overpriced superdesigned Computer which only designers buy because it's useless for anyone else. Such a brilliant Idea from me, but it didn't work...damn!"

It's their shiit --if you don't like it don't develop. If it were me...I'd keep it as tigh as possible ---Fvck Adobe, flash always messes things up
This is crazy that you have to allow people to do what they want in your stuff...better not get any advantages....str8 BS

@icebike
Totally agree. Forcing developers to buy a Mac in order to code for the iPhone is completely anti-competitive. However, an easy way to fix it is to have iPhone programming tools run on Windows systems. They don't necessarily need to allow cross-compilers...

@jimbo
I think you made an excellent point. Apple is not a monopoly in the PC Market or the iPhone Market. It is a dominant player in the Music player market (which includes the iPod Touch) and they are the dominant player in the App market, if you define App in the proper way (as in, don't include standard software that runs on your PC or Mac as part of the "app space"). Apple I do believe is engaging in anti-competitive behavior and has a monopoly in a small area and yes their behavior stifles competition.
I never said Apple was completely saintly in their practices but this is the first area that they could be considered a monopoly and I'm glad you helped bring that to light. Lots of people have been pointing to Apple behavior like Microsoft but few ever showed Apple was a monopoly at anything (except at the music player level, and they never leveraged anything with that until now). Apple is trying to make it harder to make their applications portable to other platforms, and they know they have the app market cornered, so they force developers to chose between Apple and the other platform. Apple is banking that developers will chose Apple.
I'm sorry Steve, I side with competition. Cheers for the US justice department looking into this.

It's about time!
I really don't like the Mac (there is just so much you can't do) but I would love to write a couple of iPhone apps.
Microsoft is not a monopoly but they lost for doing far less.

it's easy...the iphone can be purchased by almost every people, worldwide but on the other hand the people worldwide are only allowed to use Macintosh as Compiler to publish Apps.... and Macintosh is, ha, guess from who, surprise surprise.....APPLE!
I would even go so far, that they will even SKIP THE APPROVAL PROCESS! Yeeeehawww.

New York Times 12/2010 :
"Apple got overrun! Apple's Appstore approval process is not legitim anymore. Publish a App today!"

Why not define the market as binaries that run native on iPhone? Then Apple has 100% monopoly, same as Nintendo has for binaries that run native on the Wii. That's a slippery slope.
There's a difference between being "wrong" and being "illegal", and there are perspectives on being "wrong" as well. Apple is doing what they think is best for their platform, and yes it hurts developers so they are "wrong" from a developer's point of view. Whether or not they're wrong from a users' point of view we'll have to see. Palm is arguably the easier for the largest amount of developers, that's a competing strategy and if it that's what devs want, Palm will succeed and Apple will fail. The idea of the government intervening feels onerous here, just as it feels onerous in Europe with that silly Windows browser ballot.
And yes, you have to buy a Mac to run Xcode, just like you need to buy a Windows PC to run Visual Studio. No one forces you to buy either or develop for either.

...it's obvious this shi* wouldn't exist, if Apple wouldn't sell Macintosh. C,C#,C++ can also be written on every OS.
Ofcourse you are not forced to develop for the Appstore, pay the $99 developer fee, buy a MAC and do the work twice if you want to release the same app on Android & Co... but currently it's one of the best smartphones with the largest amount of apps which gives developers also the best profit in mobile development.
But as soon Android and the Android Market Place are further progressed, most Developers will Shi* on Apple's Policies, restrictions and the questionable approval Process...

@Rene
I understand your allegiance towards Apple. However, whether or not you believe Apple's policies are right or wrong, their policies are bad for the consumer. And that's what is most important here. I really have no interest in lining the pockets of Apple's shareholders at the expense of iPhone owners...

@Joe McG,
I really don't care about Apple, I care about great apps and in my experience every attempt thus far to make life "easy for developers" and create "cross-platform" apps has resulted in crud. Java, Air, etc. are all substandard, lower quality apps that break the OS experience and I, personally, don't use them on my system. I don't even use Firefox at this point because the UI bugs me (maybe the next version will be better).
I don't want developers to have it easy. I want them to sweat every pixel, code as closely to the platform as possible, and make the best apps they possibly can. I want the Tweetie's, the Panic's, and all the other great apps made purposefully and specifically for the iPhone or whatever OS you can imagine.
Apple has been broadly consistent on this from the beginning. They've always believed in tight integration; that's why they make their own hardware and software.
Sure, it may not matter as much for games, but if 20% of regular apps so going the route of "easy", Flash-UI builds, that's bad for the platform.
Apple may not win popularity contests for this decision, and it may be bad for developers who don't want to code platform specific apps, but it's hardly bad for consumers at this point.

While the fact that "it's their platform, they should choose what's best" is great enough as said, there is still the fact that they are actually judging by the compiler over quality.
Apparently there are already apps that used the Flash Compiler on the App Store, and "apparently" they work great. Besides every app has to go through the App Approval process before it can even hit the App Store. Like I said, the App Review team should look into Quality rather the Compiler.

@smalls agree fully.....and what's more these flash-based apps in the appstore were done with a beta of the flash-compiler. We will never see how well the final release was.
I could have create so amazing apps with flash, where you wouldn't even see any difference as viewer/customer...ofcourse "games" is something else, doubt the flashcompiler had an access to the gpu, but that's not really interesting. Just to create an App!
And what i currently see in the appstore, there are apps where i think OMG where did these people learn to code? Terrible, terrible. In 75% of all cases only the big lables seem to have smooth running apps. And what you call this...."specially developed for the iphone"? This is "substandard".

@Joe McG: Re #15

They don’t necessarily need to allow cross-compilers…

I think the cross compilers IS the BIG issue. If you have a development system that allows you to write once, and compile for iPhone, Android, or Symbian you have a gold mine. You can be on all platforms.
But by preventing this, Jobs is trying to make it so its too expensive two write apps for all platforms, because you have to hand-code everything for Apple in their own tools. Its not even good enough if you generate Objective C out of your IDE , that's not allowed either.
Its not like this development method is unheard of (And No, Rene, it doesn't mean automatically mean Java or Air.) The standard C/C++ compiler in Linux world is a cross compiler. You can compile for a platform you don't even HAVE.
Quality of apps is not the issue here. That's just the smoke screen.
If you write a game, and it performs badly due to your choice of tools, the MARKET will take care of this. It will get rated low, it will have bad reviews. But if it runs well enough for the users, why should Apple step in? EVEN if the iPhone/iPad gets multitasking, the game is for all practical purposes a single task environment, as is the iPhone in general.

@Rene #20
It is a slippery slope, which is why the FTC typically only sticks its nose in when a) the market is of sufficient size and/or potential that there is a compelling public interest in stepping in and b) a player in that market is behaving anti-competitively. If you want to throw in a strawman of narrowing the market to iphone binaries, that is your prerogative, but the FTC will look at the numbers behind the market, and the actions of the company. Period. Maybe they will decide that a company channeling 99.4% of sales in a 2013 $21 market needs to behave better, and maybe they will not.

@Rene #24
You keep insisting that developers who do not follow Apple's rules do not "sweat every pixel," and that there are only two choices, Apple or least common denominator applets.
http://tinyurl.com/y6m7kda
Look at that list. Do you honestly think that Gameloft and EA do not "sweat every pixel?"

  • Should Skee Ball return its Top 5 games of the year award to mention its "near perfect" award from Gamezeebo, because it was written with Unity?
  • On your own site, are you going to insist Georgia no longer call Dungeon Hunter no-longer a "must-have" as in the tipb review, because it used Python?
  • Should Jeremy no longer call Zombieville his favorite game in the App Store because it was written with Unity3D? (And therefore most likely C# or Boo.)
  • Are you going to remove Earthworm Jim from your Top 5 Retro Games list because it used Lua?

Clearly, by your logic, since they did not follow Apple's proscriptions, they must have done a slapsash job. Just as clearly, in order to stop bad developers from using Flash, we have to shackle the good developers and keep them from doing what they need to in order to best "sweat every pixel."
Or maybe, just maybe, you and Apple both ignore the inconvenient truth that bad developers suck regardless of language, and good developers might actually be able to make intelligent decisions regarding the platforms they target, and how.
These policies may keep out the Flash riff-raff, but they are also going to prevent the good developers -- you know, the ones that "sweat every pixel" -- from doing their best work. So cheer on these restrictions; just stop pretending that App Quality has anything to do with it.

Comment swallowed by moderation, so trying it again without the link:
@Rene #24
You keep insisting that developers who do not follow Apple’s rules do not “sweat every pixel,” and that there are only two choices, Apple or least common denominator applets.
[link removed, but type iphone lua spreadsheet into google, and it is the top hit]
Look at that list. Do you honestly think that Gameloft and EA do not “sweat every pixel?”

  • Should Skee Ball return its Top 5 games of the year award to mention its “near perfect” award from Gamezeebo, because it was written with Unity?
  • On your own site, are you going to insist Georgia no longer call Dungeon Hunter no-longer a “must-have” as in the tipb review, because it used Python?
  • Should Jeremy no longer call Zombieville his favorite game in the App Store because it was written with Unity3D? (And therefore most likely C# or Boo.)
  • Are you going to remove Earthworm Jim from your Top 5 Retro Games list because it used Lua?

Clearly, by your logic, since they did not follow Apple’s proscriptions, they must have done a slapdash job. Just as clearly, in order to stop bad developers from using Flash, we have to shackle the good developers and keep them from doing what they need to in order to best “sweat every pixel.”
Or maybe, just maybe, you and Apple both ignore the inconvenient truth that bad developers suck regardless of language, and good developers might actually be able to make intelligent decisions regarding the platforms they target, and how.
These policies may keep out the Flash riff-raff, but they are also going to prevent the good developers — you know, the ones that “sweat every pixel” — from doing their best work. So cheer on these restrictions; just stop pretending that App Quality has anything to do with it.

@Rene
By the way, i very much respect the way you run the site, especially that you take on the time-consuming, thankless, pain-in-the-butt job of moderating and still publish posts that strongly disagree with you. Of such stuff is a great community made, and, as a relative newbie here, I look forward to disagreeing with you for some time to come :)

Wow, yeah, we can clearly see that Cross platform compilers really do make crappy apps. I mean look at them, Earthworm Jim, Dungeon Hunter, Monopoly! Go on Apple, use the kill switch to kill these bad, BAD Cross compiler apps.

@Jimbo, I said it didn't matter as much for games :p
There are numerous conflicts here -- Apple wants developers locked to the iPhone, Adobe wants them locked to Flash, developers want to the easiest way to hit as big a target as possible.
None of those things are user-centric concerns at the end of the day; they're all business concerns in the best interests of the companies or individuals promoting their agendas.
As a consumer, however, I'm not sure I'm best served by common-demominator apps that work to the same common-denominator level on every platform. I'd rather each platform had differentiation -- compelling apps that leverage the unique advantage(s) of each platform. Sure its easier to make the same app for every OS, but what's the point of having multiple platforms then?
The iPhone/iPad is closer to a gaming console than a computer, and a good example is Wii games made by Nintendo vs. Wii ports that tack on Wiimote functionality.
Are consumers better served by quick and easy?

A lot of you guys are going all kinds of crazy on this. The FCC, FTC, SEC, whatever commission is chosen to investigate this, will learn that they don't have anything. If anything, Apple is handicapping itself. We know they don't think so, but based on what people are saying, that cross-compilation is really important, they are.
@jimbo
Your definition of "abusing monopoly" or "violating anti-trust" is no more deep than saying Apple has a monopoly on Macs, Nintendo has a monopoly on DS's, MS a monopoly on Xbox's, or BMWs on BMW cars, and it's not fair for them to ban competitors onto their platform. How is Apple hurting the consumer here? How is it limiting consumer choice?
They're not. Consumers have a cadre of smartphone choices out there: Android, WinMob, WebOS, Symbian, or RIM. All of them have "app markets". Customers are free to choose them. There aren't any must-have things that iPhoneOS has that prevents people from moving to other systems.
Not only that, Apple has intentionally not implemented features which many believe are fatal flaws in iPhone OS; not only that, Apple stuff is expensive. By banning cross-compilation, they have further reduced their ability to compete (Apple doesn't believe that) by limiting the number of applications available on the platform, and making it less attractive to certain developers. A judge is going to laugh the FTC, FCC, SEC, whatever, out of the courtroom if they bring about a case on this.
Your market power example of Apple having 99% of the "app market" revenue isn't even applicable. It's like saying Apple is abusing it's monopoly on laptops over $1000 by not implementation eSata or HDMI or something. They own 90% of the revenue in that space! they should be allowed to play. I digress. There is no such thing as an "app market". This is the cell phone market, which today, essentially includes all of the abilities and features characteristic of handheld devices. Being able to run applications is one of those features in cell phones. In order to run applications, apps have to be written to certain sets of rules. Developers can choose to follow them or choose not to develop for it. They basically have no inalienable rights in this environment other than those given by the rules of the contract. Users still have a choice of not buying into Apple.
Apple has merely implemented the best system for applications from developing, selling, marketing, monetizing, buying and using apps, and they have been rewarded for it. If Apple owns 90% of mobile app revenue in 2012, and still ban cross-compilation, they still haven't done anything wrong. Developers are free to develop for iPhone OS as long as they have a Mac, pay the $99/yr fee and use Xcode to compile their apps. Apple isn't preventing anyone from making money in its mobile app market. They only need to abide by the rules of the contract they agree to. There is nothing wrong with that. A judge is going to laugh the FTC, FCC, SEC, whatever, out of the courtroom if they bring about a case on this.
The gov't has no case in this. If you want to argue that Apple is making a strategic mistake by doing this, we can do that, but discussing anti-trust violations is a waste of time. If Apple owns say 60% of the cell phone market and 90% of our stuff is in Apple formats (iWork, Fairplay DRM, etc.), we can talk about monopolies and abusing thereof. Today, this is so far from the truth that you're out there in the Kuiper Belt.

I'm an admitted Android fanboy and I'm taking a shining to webOS. But let's face it, Apple made the OS, the device and everything else related to it. It's their right to decided how they want things done on their stuff. Whether one personally likes it or not is a different story. But it is their right.
Rene made an excellent point I never thought about: you need Windows to run Visual Studio so why can't Apple require a Mac to develop for iPhone? Then again, you can develop on Android with Windows, Mac or Linux ;-)

@Rene
I do not entirely disagree, which is why I agreed with you that Apple's policy will keep out the riff-raff. At the same time, however, you must admit that it will also hold down the top end, by limiting the choices the best developers may find most appropriate. At that point, the "quality" argument becomes more about "keeping up a high average" or "striving to be the best." That is fine, as far is it goes, but just be honest about it that way; it seems a very un-Apple like approach, and it certainly is not something that allows or encourages the best to "sweat every pixel."
@Shrike
You, like Rene, are defining the market as "all smartphones" and close your eyes to all other definitions. It is not your definition, nor mine, that matters. It is what the FTC decides.
"There is no such thing as an "app market"
Multiple competing providers angling for a pie that was Four point Two Billion Dollars last year. Eight point Four Billion Dollars in 2010. Twenty one point Six Billion Dollars by 2013. Reality disagrees.
Your HDMI and eSata analogies are silly, because Apple is not providing a platform for multiple HDMI eSata providers. If they were, and were placing anti-competitive restrictions on or preferentially treating those providers, the FTC might step in. Since they are not in those hardware examples, the FTC has no jurisdiction. Since they are in the iPhone software space, the FTC might. Not will -- might.
"If Apple owns 90% of mobile app revenue in 2012, and still ban cross-compilation, they still haven't done anything wrong."
Change it around:
"If Microsoft owns 95% of the OS market in 1999, and does not let OEMs preload other browsers, they still haven't done anything wrong."
MS had less OS market share than Apple does in the "App Market" you dismiss; MS did not ban anything, realized zero revenue from IE, and consumers could choose Mac or Linux. (The file format debate is irrelevant to the US/EU Netscape case, as they did not enter into either regulatory actions. But if insist they matter, even though there were not part of the decisions, for file formats, consumers even then were free to use Lotus, Abi, or OOO, and and Lotus, or one of several free doc readers.) So, comparing Windows 1999 to iPhone 2009, Microsoft had less market share (95% vs 99.4%), less revenue from the products at the center of the dispute (zero vs 30% of $4.2) billion, a better product (hard to believe now, but IE4-6 was far superior to Netscape 4.7) and allowed more choice (people could install Netscape, vs nothing unapproved on iPhone OS. ) The US DOJ and the EU still slapped Microsoft. Deservedly. And hard.
I do think Apple is making a strategic mistake in this, by artificially putting a ceiling on their best developers, and that it will bite them in the long run. I do not think the market is big enough for the FTC to jump in yet, but Apple's actions are practically daring them to do so.
Were I to be wearing my tinfoil hat today, I would almost say that Apple is crazy like a fox, acting so brazenly as to get the FTC to jump the gun and investigate while the market is clearly too immature to warrant an inquiry, and thereby immunize themselves later. But I do not think they are even considering the government in their plans; I think they are genuinely trying to follow a specific vision. I think, however, that vision will run afoul of a government on one side of the Atlantic within the next few years.
"Apple isn’t preventing anyone from making money in its mobile app market. They only need to abide by the rules of the contract they agree to."
Err, they are -- ask Adobe, or any of the game houses listed using Unity, Lua, or Monotouch. You refer to a contract that Apple can and does change at its sole discretion, with no recourse, after the fact. That is not necessarily an anti-competitive action -- at most, it rises to the level of an unfair business practice. That does not necessary make it illegal, but it certainly is unethical.

@jimbo
[Multiple competing providers angling for a pie that was Four point Two Billion Dollars last year. Eight point Four Billion Dollars in 2010. Twenty one point Six Billion Dollars by 2013. Reality disagrees.]
Yup. It's not a market. Operating systems is a market. Office automation software is a market. Content creation software is a market. Server software is a market. Gaming software is a market. "App market" is simply a name people use to describe a "platform's" capability to run 1st, 2nd and 3rd party applications and the ability for people to do commerce on it. It really can't be owned or some company can't have a monopoly on it.
[Your HDMI and eSata analogies are silly, because Apple is not providing a platform for multiple HDMI eSata providers.]
It's intentionally silly because your declaration of Apple having a monopoly on the "app market" is silly. You're way out in left field in this. Your MS analogy doesn't apply as MS was using its operating system monopoly to force OEMs to remove Netscape from the desktop and to use IE instead. Operating systems are a market. OEMs needed it (and MS Office) to actually sell PCs. Apple is doing nothing to prevent people to sell applications in the iPhone OS App Store other than the proscribed limitations on what type of applications Apple is willing to sell.
[Err, they are — ask Adobe, or any of the game houses listed using Unity, Lua, or Monotouch. You refer to a contract that Apple can and does change at its sole discretion, with no recourse, after the fact. That is not necessarily an anti-competitive action — at most, it rises to the level of an unfair business practice. That does not necessary make it illegal, but it certainly is unethical.]
What? You're still not getting it. Adobe can ship all the software they want on it. They can write mini-versions of all of the apps in the CS5 suite and sell it in the iPhone OS App Store. They just need to do it in a C-based language, compile it in Xcode, and use HTML5/H.264. (Yes, not all CS5 apps are appropriate or should be ported). Same thing with all of the developers using Unity, Lua or Monotouch. Apple isn't preventing people who use those tools from selling an app in the App Store. They just need to use a C-based language and compile it in Xcode.
The FTC or DOJ or whoever has got nothing with regard to this. The only thing these gov't entities can presumably conclude from this is Apple is handicapping its business by preventing more applications to appear on it. If they were smarter, they would come to a different conclusion the "handicapping" but it's got nothing to do with anti-trust violations.

Separate post for a separate topic.
@jimbo
[I do think Apple is making a strategic mistake in this, by artificially putting a ceiling on their best developers, and that it will bite them in the long run. I do not think the market is big enough for the FTC to jump in yet, but Apple’s actions are practically daring them to do so.]
Do you think Adobe is in competition with Apple in regards to development platforms? In the case of Adobe, it is Flash including the Air runtime which Adobe makes available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux desktop/laptop operating systems. In the case of Apple, it is Cocoa, except that Cocoa isn't cross-platform and is only available for Apple hardware.

I'm often to blogging and i actually admire your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I'm going to bookmark your website and hold checking for new information.