“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
While Epic Games attempts to prove that Apple has violated federal antitrust law in a high-profile lawsuit, a much-anticipated report from a U.S. House subcommittee calls the iPhone maker’s App Store a monopoly that reaps “supra-natural” profits and prevents competitors from entering the market.
In court against Epic Games, Apple has fought against these labels, as Epic tries to paint the technology giant as stifling competition by not letting developers access iPhone outside of the App Store and forcing developers to use Apple’s in-app payment system, which comes with a 30% fee.
The report, released Tuesday afternoon from the House subcommittee on antitrust, commercial and administrative law, looked at the market power of Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook.
Epic sued Apple for the way it distributes apps and mandates in-app fees, after its popular game Fortnite was kicked off the App Store for installing a payment system that circumvented the Apple system. It was removed from Google’s Play Store for the same reason and Google was added to the lawsuit.
While Epic’s challenge continues in court, Fortnite players have been unable to download the newest version of the game on the iPhone.
In regard to Apple, the subcommittee said Apple controls all software distribution on iOS devices, like iPhone and iPads.
“As a result, Apple exerts monopoly power in the mobile app store market, controlling access to more than 100 million iPhones and iPads in the U.S.,” the report says.
While Apple’s technology has created significant benefits to app developers and consumers, the report says, “in the absence of competition, Apple’s monopoly power over software distribution to iOS devices has resulted in harms to competitors and competition, reducing quality and innovation among app developers, and increasing prices and reducing choices for consumers.”
Apple has maintained that its App Store policies
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 inwith 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
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 affect not only Silicon Valley but the entire economy — essentially turning the House’s efforts into a broader assault against corporate consolidation.
“You look at farms and agriculture; you look at big banks, of course; you look at the housing market; you look at retail,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), one of the committee’s members. “Our focus is on tech, but there’s no question this would help strengthen competition and rein in anti-monopoly behavior across industries, which would benefit consumers.”
In the meantime, the House’s findings threaten to carry considerable legal weight, lending fresh evidence to state and federal officials as they actively investigate Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google for potential violations of antitrust rules. The