A Very Simple Question

NeoWin: Microsoft announced today that it will not appeal against the European Union’s court order compelling the company to remove Windows Media Player from the Windows XP operating system in Europe.

I have a very simple question and it’s somewhat rhetorical: why doesn’t Apple have to remove iTunes and Quicktime from OS-X?

And before someone tries to argue this, let me start with the whole file format argument and address it now: encrypted AAC can only be played on Apple-made players (iPod family); WMA can be played on a number of different players from different manufacturers. iTunes on both platforms can play AAC; WMP on both platforms can play WMA. Also, both iTunes and WMP play MP3 files. Quicktime requires Quicktime to be installed; WMV requires WMP to be installed. Both play other formats, i.e. MPEG2.

Both products are included in both OS’s in the exact same manner.

I’d say that I would lose respect for the EU if they don’t go after Apple, but I can’t lose what I don’t have – it can only increase the contempt I feel for them.

And if they don’t go after Apple, the US – or Microsoft itself – should sue the EU for biased or something else that sounds rather legal – it’s not lawful to attack one company for something and then ignoring the exact same practice in another.

Remember: it was rhetorical.

2 thoughts on “A Very Simple Question”

  1. One answer might be that Apple presently holds a much smaller share of the market, and thus its anti-competitive practices have a significantly lower impact on consumers.

  2. But that would imply that if you’re the underdog in a market that it’s OK to use “unfair” tactics to gain marketshare. Taking that to the further extreme, that’s price dumping, which is illegal – at least in the US, and I believe in the EU as well.

    I don’t buy that as an acceptable excuse – not the way the case went down. The EU’s complaint is that there’s a media player included in the OS – nothing more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.