Investigating Apple

Word is the US federal government, and the always eager European Union, are looking into Apple's new in-app subscription service. Last year, following complaints from Adobe, they looked into Apple's ban on cross-compilers for iOS and policies on competing advertisers like Google's AdMob. Apple ultimately reversed their decision on cross-compilers and Apple may well alter their in-app subscription plans as well but here's the thing -- why is the government looking into Apple?

Most cable companies are monopolies that can package channels in a way that force consumers to pay more than they would if they had a-la-carte alternatives. They can sell cable boxes that haven't evolved in 10 years while making sure cablecards are difficult to obtain. They can use and abuse copy protection and can lock down your cable box to the extent that you can't even watch previously recorded programs in your own home on your own TVs. They can set bandwidth caps low enough to dissuade users from Netflix, iTunes, and other competitive services and, apparently, can even buy their own TV networks. They have a complete lock in. Likewise PayPal can freeze your account with little in the way of recourse or accountability, pretty much doing what they want with potentially vast amounts of your money. They have total power over your cash. Verizon can lock down GPS, forcibly put un-removable Bing and crapware on their phones, and get Google to agree to horribly backwards net neutrality concessions. They own your telephonics.

How about the US and EU look into them. How about they fix them. How about they protect consumers money and public airwaves and critical infrastructure elements before they worry so much about our toys. Not to get all Aaron Sorkin on them but just because Apple is a sexy headline and trendy target doesn't mean every time a huge mega-corporation gets upset with Cupertino the regulators need to rev up their anti-trust PR reps.

If Apple steps out of bounds, if they're anti-competitive or by abusing monopoly position or illegally restrain trade by all means, investigate them and take action. But investigate cable and carriers first. Investigate defacto banks that act with impunity and first.

Protect us first.