Website fail puts ASX monopoly under scrutiny

“This [incident] highlights how important it is for consumers to have access to information,” Mr Matheson said. “Market data is critical, it should not be a monopoly.”

He said Australia should consider re-regulating the ASX’s stranglehold over company announcements, similar to reforms in the UK which allow companies to choose between a range of organisations to lodge mandatory disclosures with, such as newswire services.

ASX client and broker OpenMarkets agreed the incident drew attention to the ASX’s problematic monopoly status. “The industry is concerned that ASX has too much power to dictate play and there isn’t much of an opportunity for competitors to create a diverse environment that will ultimately benefit customers,” said chief executive Ivan Tchourilov.

However, he said the market operator was right to make changes to its previous archaic website and that these long-term benefits for investors would outweigh the “unfortunate teething problems”.

John Daly, chief executive of markets information provider Listcorp, similarly had sympathy for the ASX, noting it was a “huge challenge” to launch a new website. “We’re happy to help keep investors informed while the ASX beds down their new site,” he said, having stepped in to publish all company announcements on the Listcorp website ahead of a busy week of annual general meetings.

But many individual investors were unconvinced that the website changes were for the better. “The new site hides share prices and company stats behind a login,” said one regular ASX visitor. “How is that a better user experience?”

Others speculated that the new login requirement may be commercially motivated on the part of the ASX, with fears that personal data may be sold or passed on to third parties.

An ASX spokesman clarified that there is no commercial model associated with the website and that revenue previously garnered from advertising

Antitrust investigation dubs App Store a monopoly, Microsoft adopts ‘app fairness’ rules, pandemic boosts Q3 app revenues

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

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The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Apple declared monopoly by U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust

Apple was one of the four big tech companies the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust declared as having enjoyed monopoly power in the U.S. The report suggests that Congress make changes to break up their businesses. In Apple’s case, the company was deemed to have market power in the app distribution business, meaning its App Store. The report agrees that while the App Store provides significant benefits to both consumers and developers, Apple has also controlled the App Store in a way that allows it to create barriers to competition and exploits developer data to its advantage.

Apple responded that it “vehemently” disagrees with the report’s conclusions…”with respect to Apple.”:

Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business. From its beginnings 12 years ago with just 500 apps, we’ve built the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for users to discover and download apps and a supportive way for developers to create and sell apps globally. Hosting close

House lawmakers say Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple abused monopoly power

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The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee released its report after investigating Big Tech.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Lawmakers from the US House of Representatives accused Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple of “abuses of monopoly power” in a 449-page report released Tuesday. The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee drew its conclusions after a 16-month investigation that culminated in an hours-long hearing with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai in July.

The report calls for restructuring and several other changes to rein in the companies. One recommendation tries to make it tougher for tech giants to buy up smaller companies that consolidates the industry. A “nondiscrimination requirements” suggestion aims to stop platforms from prioritizing their own products over those of rivals. The subcommittee also calls for the strengthening of antitrust laws and enforcement. 

The subcommittee likens the tech companies to monopolies from “the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.” For the investigation, led by Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline, the subcommittee gathered more than 1.3 million documents from the tech giants, competitors and antitrust enforcement agencies.

“Although these firms have delivered clear benefits to society, the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google has come at a price,” the report says. “These firms typically run the marketplace while also competing in it — a position that enables them to write one set of rules for others, while they play by another.”

The amount of power these tech companies hold have resulted in “less innovation, fewer choices for consumers, and a weakened democracy,” the report says.

The four companies are some of the most powerful in the world. Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with a user base roughly equal

House investigation faults Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google for engaging in anti-competitive monopoly tactics

WASHINGTON – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google engaged in anticompetitive, monopoly-style tactics to evolve into four of the world’s most powerful corporate behemoths, according to congressional investigators who called in a wide-ranging report released Tuesday for sweeping changes to federal laws so that government regulators can bring Silicon Valley back in check.

The roughly 450-page document, capping a roughly 16-month investigation by the House’s top antitrust committee, found that the four tech giants relied on dubious, harmful means to solidify their dominance in Web search, smartphones, social networking and shopping – and in the process evaded the very federal regulators whose primary task is to ensure that companies do not grow into such unmatched corporate titans.

Congressional investigators faulted Facebook for gobbling up potential competitors with impunity, and they concluded Google improperly scraped rivals’ websites and forced its technology on others to reach its pole position in search and advertising. The lawmakers’ report labeled both of those firms as monopolies while faulting the federal government for failing to crack down on them sooner.

Amazon and Apple, meanwhile, exerted their own form of “monopoly power” to protect and grow their corporate footprints. As operators of two major online marketplaces – a world-leading shopping site for Amazon, and a powerful App Store for Apple – the two tech giants for years set rules that essentially put smaller, competing sellers and software developers at a disadvantage, the report found.

The House investigation stopped short of calling on the Trump administration to break up any of the companies. Instead, it proposed the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. antitrust law in decades, a series of legislative proposals that could empower the government to battle bigness in the tech industry and prevent future problematic mergers. Any such retooling would require approval from Congress, and they would

House Antitrust Report Targets Big Tech Monopoly Power And Urges Breakup

The House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee this week released the 400-page findings of its 16-month investigation into the “state of competition in the digital economy.”

The predetermined results cited a “clear and compelling need” to “strengthen antitrust enforcement and consider a range of forceful options, including structural separations and prohibitions on anticompetitive conduct” against the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google.

The use of the word “force” is telling, given the voluntary nature of markets and consumer choice.

Antitrust regulation is a prominent illustration of how unhinged and concentrated hyper-regulatory power, not just spending authority, enables and encourages massive compulsory transfers of wealth by government. Every generation or so we go through the motions of “modernizing” antitrust only to invent complex new rationales reviving it for every major new frontier sector because, this time, we really mean it, it’s really different and government needs to step in.

Market actors today find themselves accused by so-called trustbusters of being too big, reducing consumer welfare, raising rivals’ costs, and—in the latest iteration—of doing other bad things like interfering with free speech.

In a release accompanying the new report, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nader (D-New York) proclaimed, “As they exist today, Apple
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, Amazon
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, Google
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, and Facebook each possess significant market power over large swaths of our economy. In recent years, each company has expanded