[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Rules of the Game. Results that We Want.
- To: "Appraisal of Microsoft list" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Rules of the Game. Results that We Want.
- From: email@example.com (John Gelles)
- Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 23:54:37 -0800
The Rule of Law means there are rules. Among
these are a prohibition against selling below cost,
not in response to distress and a need to liquidate
holdings, but in a deliberate attempt to destroy
competition, if engaged in by a firm capable,
thereby, of becoming a monopoly. Another rule
forbids a seller from imposing conditions on
buyers that restrain them buying also from
others in due course -- i.e., from intentionally
advancing to monopoly status via restraint
of ordinary trade.
Any firm with a significant share in any market
may not violate these rules. If MS has broken
these rules, we must insist it be brought into
compliance and that it pay the victims of its rule
breaking moneys to make them whole.
The result we want is the absence of monopoly
sellers or buyers in any significant information or
Now there are other results we want that seem
to confuse the issue: We want to see in business
enterprise applications that allow all vital tasks
that create and require information to be well
connected by reliable, efficient, systems. MS
is not a big player in these markets yet.
We want to see in home applications a market
not smaller than our telephone and television
services now comprise. The market is as yet not
established -- only fragments of it -- and there is
not yet a monopoly there.
Do these results at the moment allow MS to
continue its past breaking of the rules in lesser
markets -- especially when the wealth they have
accumulated in such markets may be sufficient
for them to monopolize both business and home
integrated and interactive information based
commercial markets in less than twenty years?
I say they do not. It may well be that business
and future home applications will not mimic the
peculiar path of the desktop personal computer.
But the sheer size and wealth of MS put us on
notice that it must be forced now to follow
the rules. Only if they do, can we be confident
that the industry will not be forced by unfair
competitive practice to rely on inferior products.
If, under a new fair regime, MS gains market
share in markets more significant than our
present personal desktops -- in excess of fifty
percent -- anti-trust theory may allow it. But
such a high share is unlikely to be earned without
illegal action. And we must make sure that patent
and copyright law do not invite the equivalent of
unfair competition, as they apparently have in the
lesser market referred to above.
John Gelles email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.myturn.org ; http://www.rain.org/~jjgelles/
URL's above seek enactment of an economic bill of rights.