Help us Nellie! Please, help us!

Apple clearly has a de-facto monopoly in the portable music player market, with upward of 70% of that market. It is busily working on monopolies in the music software and downloads markets and is behaving monopolistically in the PC market as well. Some of those market shares have certainly been helped by bundling iTunes with the completely unrelated QuickTime, which has huge installed base.

Continuing on the strategy that bundling helps expand market share, Apple has now started "leveraging" (a synonym for "abuse") those monopolies to force people to use its web browser, Safari. Safari, of course, has a miniscule market share; less than 6% according to BetaNews. Starting very recently, if you installed QuickTime (with no additional options) you will be presented with this dialog:

This astonishing abuse of power threatens to destabilize the software market world-wide, thwart choice, and hamper innovation. What would happen if Apple is actually successful in giving away lots of copies of its free browser? That would bite into other browsers' market shares and ensure that the organizations that wrote them do not get to give away a lot of copies of their free browsers. Eventually we will be in an Apple hegemony! We will all be looking at small fonts, shaded colors, and thin stuff. We will all look svelte and cool, wear turtlenecks and jeans, and nobody would grow older than 26! Oh No! There would be no more geeks! Worse still, everyone will be subject to all the vulnerabilities in Safari. Terrorists can use this hegemony to take down the Internet, endangering civilization as we know it. 

Clearly it must be illegal to abuse a monopoly in this way to push unrelated software onto an unsuspecting public. If only there were a government agency who took it upon itself to protect the public from miscreants such as Steve Jobs. Without protection from some kind of commission we will be crushed under the foot of his anti-competitive and hostile practices! If only there were someone who has stood up for individual choice and free competition among American firms in the past…

Maybe if we found our savior she could force Apple to make a version of QuickTime without sound? That would certainly promote competition. 

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