A Long, Strange Trip for the ‘Uber for Nurses’Read more

Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo by Bloomberg.

Apple’s Buy Now, Pay Later Move May Be a Little Late

Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo by Bloomberg.

Never underestimate the value of small steps in technological progress. Of all the software and hardware developments Apple unveiled today, the ability to edit iMessages after sending them will probably get the most plaudits from regular people. Yes, we can finally fix a message screw-up caused by Apple’s autocorrect! Hooray!

Antitrust regulators of course will interpret many of Apple’s announcements through a more disapproving lens, focused on the competitive dangers that flow from “dominant digital platforms” like Apple marketing their own goods and services on their platforms. Witness the cleverly named Apple Pay Later, a feature of the company’s Apple Pay digital wallet and a direct copy of buy now, pay later services offered by Affirm, Klarna and Block’s Afterpay. Packaging the new service with Apple’s digital wallet certainly won’t make life easier for those smaller rivals. FTC chair Lina Khan, who wrote a 2019 paper arguing for the separation of platforms and commerce, is likely to see this move as just another example of what’s wrong with big tech. 

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