The Monopoly Discussions [2021]

Discussion in 'PC Industry' started by DSoup, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    14,727
    Likes Received:
    10,875
    Location:
    London, UK
    Microsoft can't keep buying studios to stop competitors acquiring them, that is by definition monopolistic behaviour and behaviour that I would hope is long in Microsoft's past. But seriously, if Microsoft fear competition from Amazon and Google then they don't deserve to survive. Creating a vacuum of large independent studios is not good because then there are fewer around. Microsoft need to cultivate their customer base by being better and offering new and differencing gaming experiences, not by giving customers fewer choices going forward.
     
    milk likes this.
  2. eastmen

    Legend Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12,286
    Likes Received:
    3,243
    MS wont buy everyone don't worry. I think there is one more large purchase and then a mid size purchase that they are looking into and might happen. Any other purchases will be smaller companies under 1B

    MS wants to fill out game pass and is working hard on that , part of the strategy is buying some studios. They are also not the only ones buying studios. Sony bought the spiderman studio not to long ago.

    In video games Sony would be closer to a monopoly than MS . Heck you could consider Sony and Nintendo a duopoly .

    The only monopoly MS has is windows os if you count only personal computers but pretty sure ios and andriod are larger operating systems now.
     
  3. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    14,727
    Likes Received:
    10,875
    Location:
    London, UK
    Definitely. And there are indeed calls for the traditional definition of monopoly, which typically reside on significant market share (oft 70% or greater) to be reformed to include a measure of market influence. This would capture Apple who have disproportionate market influence despite having a relatively small market share compared to Android even though nobody quite understands why, although it feels like the iOS market is vastly disproportionately higher spending compared to Android.

    That's probably not going to happen any time soon but the mood is certainly in the wind.
     
    eastmen likes this.
  4. eastmen

    Legend Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12,286
    Likes Received:
    3,243
    yup and its why MS is making the moves now because if game pass is sucessfull it could end up being a long time before they can buy another game developer. So they need to buy the right companies now.
     
    liams and BRiT like this.
  5. ChuckeRearmed

    Regular Newcomer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2020
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    147
    In all honesty new studios pop up left and right. Not of them are able to create AAA games these days but tons of studios out there.
    And I until MS is dominating the market it is not a monopoly.

    Even with all those purchases MS is not even close to have a huge market influence. As long as MS publishes the games on Steam it can easily avoid any issues with influences or monopolies.

    I am not sure. I mean IPhone is certainly popular and famous franchise but Android is everywhere - it is just very fragmented as people own Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, Google Pixel etc.
     
    Sxotty and PSman1700 like this.
  6. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    14,727
    Likes Received:
    10,875
    Location:
    London, UK
    Rushing acquisitions now when monopolies can be broken up would be folly. It means they spending now, having no time recoup the investment, then maybe needing to spin out or sell. We're already seeing the foreshadowing of that with calls on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google being broken up because of there vast vertical ecosystems Microsoft make hardware, develop the widest used desktop operate system, operate a store and also the biggest software development company.

    They are absolute ripe to be broken up in future. They are likely already thinking about this, better to be dismantle yourself strategically than have it foisted upon you.
     
  7. eastmen

    Legend Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12,286
    Likes Received:
    3,243
    Well lets look at things here

    Amazon continues to grow snuffing out the small businesses that covid didn't kill. Now if you want to exist as a seller you need to be on their platform. They have their hands in everything from phones and tablets to smart speakers to "tv" content to book sales and so on and so forth. They have a monopoly on game streaming. They are also the market leader in web hosting

    Apple has vertically integrated everything and has left a slew of broken companies behind them. They use their absolute control of the app store on their platform to copy competition products while being funded by them and ultimately replacing them. They are doing what amazon is doing by having their own "tv" studios and music platforms. They also now cut out chip suppliers and are now using dominance in phone sales to gain a competitive edge in other markets. Apple and Google are a duopoly in terms of phone OS and tablet OS companies.

    Google again has over 70% of the search market and are the over whelming market leader in phone os. . They are the defacto web video content platform with youtube.

    We saw all 3 of them work together to stifle and drive out Parlor. Parlor while right leaning did not have any content worse than what was on twitter a company that conveniently signed a hosting deal with Amazon not too long ago. Now the fastest growing competition for twitter was kicked off aws with only 30 hours of notice vs the required 30 days. Apple and Google also both removed the app from their stores. I don't think the USA is going to do anything to thse companies because ultimately it helped the ones in power right now. But there are plenty of countries that have already spoken out about this including Merkle who is the head of Germany and basically the EU.

    What power does Microsoft control that is anything like that anymore ?

    What is Microsoft % of the market that they have for video games ? Microsoft is making these purchases now but they wont even fully pay off this generation of consoles. So microsoft could have half a decade or a full decade before they gain enough market share that anyone bats an eye.

    Steam just broke its record of a 120m users and had 24m users online at one time recently. Nintendo is currently selling gangbusters and switch is going to end up their best selling console ever compared to MS who sold what 50-60m xbox ones ? Sony I believe also broke 100m ps4s and is right now out selling the xbox series with the ps5 by 2.5-1.

    It will take a long time for Microsoft become a monopoly in gaming if they ever do. But I doubt they care. Bing is far from a market leader but still brings in billions upon billions for them. Its the same for surface . It makes billions for them but is far from a market leader in the pc side. Game pass will become the same. Using the pc , phone and xbox platforms game pass will bring in billions upon billions for them.
     
    ChuckeRearmed, liams and PSman1700 like this.
  8. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    14,727
    Likes Received:
    10,875
    Location:
    London, UK
    What Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook are doing are irrelevant to Microsoft's position regards what possible future monopolies legislation. Your focus on Microsoft's video game, tell me does that include Steam, the Epic Game Store, uPlay and all of the other game platforms that exist more than 90% on Microsoft's proprietary Windows operating system? Because it wasn't that long ago Microsoft really did try to lock APIs to software only sold through their own store before a shitstorm forced them to backtrack.

    You seemingly misunderstood the reason fuelling discussion on changing the monopolies reform, it's never been about these companies smaller operations, i.e nobody gives a toss about Apple's computer [Mac] business, nor Microsoft's search business, it's about these companies overall influence in the technology landscape and about leveraging domination business operations to push forward struggling business or just stifle competition from others.
     
  9. liams

    Regular Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2020
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    234
    Most of those fears about Microsoft monopolizing game distribution through UWP are nonsense though, Tim Sweeny was essentially making things up, it was always possible for other stores to use UWP and it was and still is an open standard. The point of UWP is to make programs much more easily managed when installing/uninstalling and more secure.

    heres microsofts response to the article that you quote

    Kevin Gallo, corporate vice president of Windows at Microsoft, issued the Guardian the following statement:

    Universal Windows Platform is a fully open ecosystem, available to every developer, that can be supported by any store. We continue to make improvements for developers; for example, in the Windows 10 November Update, we enabled people to easily side-load apps by default, with no UX required.

    We want to make Windows the best development platform regardless of technologies used, and offer tools to help developers with existing code bases of HTML/JavaScript, .NET and Win32, C+ + and Objective-C bring their code to Windows, and integrate UWP capabilities. With Xamarin, UWP developers can not only reach all Windows 10 devices, but they can now use a large percentage of their C# code to deliver a fully native mobile app experiences for iOS and Android. We also posted a blog on our development tools recently.
     
    HLJ, DSoup and BRiT like this.
  10. eastmen

    Legend Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12,286
    Likes Received:
    3,243
    Liams gave information to you about your claims. But here is more , at the time of that article Sweeny was preparing to launch his own store on the platform. Notice that the epic store is available on Windows and unlike apple or google MS makes zero dollars off that store.

    I think i broke down the companies pretty well and how much influence these companies have on the market. Microsoft is no longer a company at that level. They don't have a platform that can currently be abused. The windows store isn't even the dominate store on their platform !
     
  11. ChuckeRearmed

    Regular Newcomer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2020
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    147
    I think people just look at market capitalization of MS, compare to Sony's and complain about "abuse" and "monopolies".

    But it is incredible that MS has such a big market cap despite not being a leader in any area (except Office).
     
  12. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,893
    Likes Received:
    949
    I wouldn't sleep on their revenue from Windows, either. The money they collect from Dell, HP, and other OEMs must be pretty substantial. The retail PC market is fairly large, especially when you take into account the non-gaming market. I know ChromeOS has eaten into this lead, but I don't think it's overtaken it yet.
     
    PSman1700 likes this.
  13. PSman1700

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2019
    Messages:
    4,419
    Likes Received:
    2,040
    Probably much larger then the console/PS market share.
     
  14. liams

    Regular Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2020
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    234
    on the order of 250m per year
     
  15. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    14,727
    Likes Received:
    10,875
    Location:
    London, UK
    How is this relevant? How is Microsoft protected because other companies are currently bigger targets? :-?

    Microsoft could utterly abuse their Windows dominance. Microsoft could decide that Windows will only run signed software, the same requirement for kernel extensions and place a signing fee requirement on it. They could chose to restrict software installation to their own store. They charge for security updates and limit deployment of new APIs on older unsecured installations, i.e. revert the classic Windows sales model of OS obsolescence.

    The scope of abuse is MASSIVE. Just because they have not, does not mean they couldn't. The whole purpose of the reforms is not to wait until companies are large enough to abuse their power but to prevent them every getting large or powerful enough to start with. Microsoft dominate the desktop OS world, they are also the worlds largest software company, the worlds largest software productively company, one of the world's larges server commercial server and cloud service providers, the worlds largest company providing SDKs to other platforms. If you can't see potential (not intent, potential) for abuse you lack imagination.
     
  16. liams

    Regular Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2020
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    234

    monopoly laws only apply to companies that abuse their market position, so all that potential is irrelevant to the conversation.
     
    Sxotty, HLJ, Silenti and 2 others like this.
  17. eastmen

    Legend Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12,286
    Likes Received:
    3,243
    Because they all control market segments that are relevant and have recently been used to destroy another company.

    As for Microsoft they could do all that but they don't. Until they do what will happen ? Like I said epic recently launched their own store on the platform and unlike other platforms Epic pays 0 dollars to microsoft.

    You claim microsoft is the worlds largest software company but is that even true anymore ? Wouldn't Apple with IOS or Google with Andriod be the largest software company ? I think apple is the largest hardware company.
     
    Johnny Awesome likes this.
  18. ChuckeRearmed

    Regular Newcomer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2020
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    147
    I don't think it will, because it already passed that stage in 90s and early 2000s. Learnt a lesson.
     
  19. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    14,727
    Likes Received:
    10,875
    Location:
    London, UK
    Monopoly laws apply to companies with large markets, which includes Microsoft. Monopoly laws are enforced when there is abuse. But I'm talking about the direction monopoly law is heading, now how it is now.

    Right, but this is a thread about Microsoft so I'm talking about Microsoft. I know you don't want to talk about how Microsoft are hugely dominant in several sectors and highly influential in many others but it's the truth. There is also nothing wrong with being successful.

    Again, and I feel like you are not reading my posts, it's not about intent it's about potential. There is where may lobbyists want legislation to go and there is a lot of support for it. And yes, Microsoft is still the largest software company in the world, not only in terms of software licensed but in the sheer number of software developers they employ. Then there is Microsoft's domination of the desktop OS market and the productivity application market. And I'm not saying this is bad, it is what it is, but what monopolists reformist are saying is legislation should change in instances like this because it's in nobody's interest that such influence is consolidated inside one company.

    The goal is remove the scope for abuse, not to only act if there is harm because you often can't undo the damage caused by monopolist practices.

    Come on people in this thread, let's empty some reading comprehension here.
     
  20. liams

    Regular Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2020
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    234

    I understand what your getting at, and do agree with you that there are likely anti-monopoly law reinterpretations / new laws on the way, but I just don't think Microsoft is going to be the focus of those expanded/reinterpreted laws. This isn't just me saying that because I like Microsoft to be clear, just look at the recent congressional hearings that involved big tech, there wasn't a Microsoft in sight. And I understand that you cant be pulled over for speeding and say 'but officer, everyone else was going just as fast/faster than me!', but I think its clear that there are other things that will be focussed on.

    To compare Microsoft gaming ambitions to becoming the Disney of games I think is somewhat analogous, although xbox will never get to the market share that Disney has, in 2019 Disney accounted for 40% of the US box office. As a comparison in 2019, xbox had roughly 8% of the global gaming market revenue, at ~$11B, but that includes the revenue for hardware sales, so the real percentage is lower than that. There is no scenario where xbox has 40% of the global gaming revenues, no matter who they acquire.

    The US government, who would be enforcing any of these expanded laws is completely comfortable with where Microsoft is right now, and that's not because the US government is a big customer of Microsoft.

    With Microsoft being the largest software company in the world, they are also the most diversified, who else is doing so many different things in software? Its not like the windows team has 150k software engineers on it (sometimes I wish it did lol, we might finally get a consistent UI everywhere). the googles and facebooks of the world only have 1 product basically, with google its advertising, and with facebook its social networks, they don't need as many engineers to support that.


    I wonder if the US government would define a monopoly based on revenue as a proxy for market share? the apple app store had an estimated revenue of ~$72B dollars in 2020, compared to the google play stores ~$22B. Installed devices is imo a poor metric for market share, as it doesn't account for how actively the device owners actually use the store. Plus Apple is imo actively abusing its market position by not allowing game subscription services that arent its own apple arcade to be sold through the app store, they obviously have ambitions to bolster apple arcade and are ensuring that they will eventually have success with it by stifling competition. If installed devices were all that mattered then the windows store would be doing a lot better than it currently is.


    A few disjointed points but you get my idea.
     
    Sxotty likes this.
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...