Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich weighed in yesterday on the FTC's investigation into Apple, and he's not on board with it. His reason? They should be looking into banks instead. It's hard to argue with!
What's wrong with that? Apple says it's necessary to maintain quality. If consumers disagree they can buy platforms elsewhere. Apple was the world's #3 smartphone supplier in 2009, with 16.2 percent of worldwide market share. RIM was #2, with 18.8 percent. Google isn't exactly a wallflower. These and other firms are innovating like mad, as are tens of thousands of independent developers. If Apple's decision reduces the number of future apps that can run on its products, Apple will suffer and presumably change its mind.
On the other hand, the four largest U.S. financial institutions are so big and the rest of the economy so dependent on them that if one of them makes a bad decision it can take us all down. Between them they hold more than $7 trillion in assets, over half the size of the entire U.S. economy.
The entire piece is worth reading. And if you're unfamiliar with Mr. Reich, I invite you to check out the classic video of him and Conan from Late Night above. If that's not a man who's opinion you can trust, I don't know who is. [Robert Reich]