The US -- allegedly a bastion of the "free market" -- has one of the world's lowest levels of economic competition, thanks to the triumph of the Chicago School economists, who used shitty math to convince Ronald Reagan and his successors that the only time a monopoly is a problem is when it raises prices.
Not so in Europe, where they're happy to hand the likes of Google multibillion dollar fines and chase Apple for billions in tax-evasion penalties -- and starting in May, they're going to hand out the corporate death-penalty to the entire ecosystem of surveillance capitalism.
The latest flex from the European Commission is €997 million fine levied against Qualcomm for cutting a secret deal with Apple in which the chipmaker paid Apple billions in bribes to guarantee that Apple wouldn't buy from any of its competitors.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "Qualcomm illegally shut out rivals from the market for LTE baseband chipsets for over five years, thereby cementing its market dominance. Qualcomm paid billions of US Dollars to a key customer, Apple, so that it would not buy from rivals. These payments were not just reductions in price – they were made on the condition that Apple would exclusively use Qualcomm's baseband chipsets in all its iPhones and iPads.
This meant that no rival could effectively challenge Qualcomm in this market, no matter how good their products were. Qualcomm's behaviour denied consumers and other companies more choice and innovation – and this in a sector with a huge demand and potential for innovative technologies. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules and why we have taken today's decision."
Antitrust: Commission fines Qualcomm €997 million for abuse of dominant market position [European Commission]
(Image: Raimond Spekking, CC-BY-SA)
At Reddit, mtietje posted this remarkable photo of their lockdown project: an iPad stand made using an old Macintosh SE/30. The display size is perfect for the 9.7″ iPad, and now that iPadOS can use mice they work much better as “normal” computers. Se/30 shells turn up on eBay now and again. One’s there now […]
A $350 USB device claiming to block 5G radio signals is just a cheap unbranded thumbdrive, report security researchers. The makers of the “5GBioShield” claim their USB stick can block electrical waves through a “proprietary holographic nano-layer catalyst” technology. It purportedly does this by “balancing” all the existing radiations around you to create a protective […]
COOPH put together a video featuring DIY smartphone video rigs put together with stuff lying around the house. Want to make your smartphone footage more creative than ever? In our latest video the COOPH photographers share some of their best hacks on how to create stunning images and videos with your smartphone and everyday tools, […]
Not every house has a fireplace. And to be honest, not every homeowner wants to deal with the hassles and maintenance of a fireplace. But it’s tough to argue that the intoxicating glow and dance of a licking flame isn’t mesmerizing, not to mention all of a fire’s practical uses. For those looking to enjoy […]
Knowledge is power. And a company that knows who its customers are is far more likely to see those customers return. On the web, information gathering often comes in the shape of an online form. Whether it’s a registration, a contest, an order, or just a simple contact, those opportunities to engage with users and […]
It’s impossible for anyone to truly escape the effects our COVID-19 lifestyle changes have made, but if you’re a web developer, there’s a decent chance your work life might be virtually unchanged. Even before the quarantines and work-from-home orders, over 16 percent of web developers were already self-employed. And with a growing number of tech […]