Apple Not A Monopoly (For Now)

Hmmm…  Well, I can’t say I’m that surprised, but U.S. District Judge William Alsup has rejected Psystar’s claim that Apple is a monopolist.  (Psystar markets the OpenMac, which runs OSX on non-Apple hardware, which violates the OSX license, and thus led to them being sued for copyright infringement.) According to CNN Money, Judge “Alsup ruled Apple’s products don’t constitute a market to dominate. As a consequence, Apple then can’t be considered a monopolist.”

The problem, of course, is market definition.  And it’s not as easy as simply telling the court that the relevant market is computers running OSX, because Apple will turn around and try to convince the court that the relevant market is actually all computers, whether they run OSX, Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, or Solaris.  Clearly, then, with Apple’s miniscule (though growing) market-share amongst all computers, well, it can’t exert monopoly power when the market is defined as all computers.  And that, it appears (I haven’t looked at the order), is what has happened.

Anyway, ars technica has a little write-up, and they have thoughtfully provided the case number: 3:08-cv-03251-WHA  (N.D. Cal.)

(Justia, too, has the case number, and an as-yet non-updated reproduction of the PACER docket sheet.)