Apple’s decision to go to war with Facebook and Google dominated headlines this week. For those who were off the grid, Apple shut down some iOS apps used by employees at those companies to run their businesses. Its reason: TechCrunch revealed the companies were abusing the program by extending it to user research apps. Apple restored the access within two days, presumably because Facebook and Google got in line.
For that brief period, Facebook employees couldn’t test beta versions of Messenger or figure out when the next Facebook-sponsored shuttle from Menlo Park to San Francisco was leaving. Googlers were in a similar boat.
But the episode signifies something much larger. The recent era of statesmanship in big tech is over.