it appears to be a very predatory way of doing business on my eyes.
I remember an article I read on the late 80's or early 90's about how some small companies of that era feared growing too fast and ended up catching the attention of Microsoft, that at that time was buying everything and everybody (prices are pretty lower at that times). Building something cool that Microsoft would need was the fastest way of going out ot business.
Completely different. Microsoft would find a company that had a product that they wanted. That company had two options. Sell to Microsoft, or get destroyed. Sometimes it meant Microsoft finding a similar company, or developing in house. But either way, the masses would get a free product from Microsoft that sort of did the same thing, or pay for one that they don't realize is better. One prime example is Netscape. Microsoft bought Mosaic, called it IE, and gave it away for free. Bill Gates was renowned for "declaring war" on small companies. He is absolutely ruthless when someone says no to him, and lashes out like Stalin on steroids.
What Apple did was buy some companies that could be used to make better products. Notice that the Microsoft ones were never, or rarely, better than the other guy. They forced it down your throat using their monopoly. These are also not competing companies, just those that have something that they want to use in house, not resell.
Apple is an evil company, as are all companies. Microsoft at its peak was a criminal racket, and history will look back with an unbiased eye, and shake their heads that we let them run rampant like we did. If you want to know why, check out the history on the trade deficit in the 70's and 80's. Microsoft was one of the few companies that sold abroad. Also look at their campaign spending. They practically own the Washington state legislature. Now it doesn't seem like a big deal, since that's status quo. In the 80's, back when the US still had some integrity and a Constitution, it was cutting edge evil.