It’s hard not to feel that Apple CEO Tim Cook has only himself to blame for the battle he now finds himself in with Facebook. Over the past few years he spent an inordinate amount of time preaching about the evils of the advertising-based business model of Facebook and others. It’s not a surprise Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would retaliate. For all of Cook’s sermonizing, Apple is not free of sin when it comes to how its customers are treated (as anyone buying one of Apple’s high-priced cables could attest.)
And whatever the merits of Facebook’s argument—which focuses how Apple uses its control of the App Store to hurt developers and advertisers—one thing seems clear. The dispute between the two companies foreshadows a loosening of the gatekeeper powers enjoyed by all the big tech companies, whether Apple, Google or Facebook.