Monday, September 28, 2020

Pompeo Pontone: the tech companies’ new type of monopoly

 With over 25 years of professional experience, Pompeo Pontone is an Investment Specialist and Financial Consultant, who is particularly focused on Investment Management and Capital Markets. He is currently active in Quantitative Finance, Derivatives Trading and Data Science, as well as in projects concerning FinTech and Private Equity. In a recent article published on his website, the expert has addressed the issue of monopolies in the tech era and the control exercised by the most dominant tech companies over the app ecosystems.

Pompeo Pontone: the emergence of tech monopolies

Published on the Data Science & Technology section of the website, the insight from Pompeo Pontone focuses on the emerging issue regarding the rise of monopolies in the technological era. The specific case analyzed by the expert is that of Apple: is it conceivable that the American big tech company has made it extremely difficult to use web-based technology on its platforms? "Apple's control over its app ecosystem is a new type of monopoly that's hard to understand for lawmakers", the article says, "and difficult for us to fight back against": as explained in the insight, this is linked to the fact that it is no easy to find a way out of the restrictions when both the distribution method and the platform itself are controlled by a company. With a recent policy change, indeed, Apple has made it more difficult for developers to submit apps containing web code and to use web-based technology on its platforms. "Web information system, or web-based information system", the expert in Data Science explains, "is an information system that uses Internet web technologies to deliver information and services, to users or other information systems/applications": in other words, "it is a software system whose main purpose is to publish and maintain data by using hypertext-based principles"Pompeo Pontone writes.

Pompeo Pontone: Apple and fully independent third-party browsers

Pompeo Pontone continues his article focusing on another aspect relating to the new type of monopoly that is emerging in the tech era: Apple's history of stunting the web's progress on its platforms. "A web application (or web app) is an application software that runs on a web server", he writes, "unlike computer-based software programs that are stored locally on the Operating System of the device". As the article says, web applications are accessed through a web browser with an active internet connection, and programmed using a client server modeled structure: basically, "the user ("client") is provided services through an off-site server that is hosted by a third-party"Pompeo Pontone points out, adding that the programming languages used to build the web often find their way into apps. As explained by the expert, this is a crucial point because fully independent third-party browsers are not allowed by Apple, which requires all apps to leverage the Safari browser when rendering web-based content. This means that Apple has a monopoly on how iPhone and iPad users access the web, as all apps "must use Apple's Safari browser behind the scenes to render web pages", the Professional Investment Specialist concludes.

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