Apple's Response to the 'Kindle Theory' of Antitrust

[I]f Amazon was a “threat” that needed to be squelched by means of an illegal conspiracy, why would Apple offer Amazon’s Kindle app on the iPad? Why would Apple conclude that conspiring to force Amazon to no longer lose money on eBooks would cripple Amazon’s competitive fortunes? And why would Apple perceive the need for an illegal solution to the “Kindle threat” when it had an obvious and lawful one which it implemented – namely, introducing a multipurpose device (the iPad) whose marketing and sales success was not centered on eBook sales?

This sounds quite fair— until you consider the restrictions placed upon competing eReader apps on this multipurpose device:

  • No sales except through Apple IAP @ ~110% of revenue.
  • No sign-up for accounts.
  • No links to store websites via Safari.
  • No links to company website (even for displaying corporate privacy policy, etc.).
  • No static text giving the address of company/store website.
  • No static text saying ‘our website’ or similar.
  • No introduction or mention of non-free content availability.
  • No use of the words ‘trial’ or ‘preview’ to refer to content.
  • No means to acquire new content aside from 100% free content within the application.
  • No text suggesting that non-free content is available for purchase (even without discussion of where one might do so).

For the record, all of the above were cause for the Kobo app to be pulled from the store if we did not submit a hotfix immediately. I find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t be doing the same to Amazon.

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