[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Future markets. Future Monopolies?

  	                 FUTURE  MARKETS.  
  	             FUTURE  MONOPOLIES ?
  	(We trust whatever that Court hears evidence against
  	Microsoft -- in its current state of  monopolization of 
  	desktop personal computing software -- will apply
  	the law, determined to correct all proven illegality. 
  	The Court will have to have some notion of the future, 
  	but its ruling must be firmly based on facts past and 
  	present.  What follows, emphasizes the future -- the 
  	primary concern of this Appraisal.)
  	No nation should sweat charges against "monopoly"
  	until the market involved is reasonably defined.
  	We admit there are obvious separate markets that
  	(1)  CONTENT -- including news and information, 
  	education, entertainment, conversation, and commercial 
  	advertising -- (Disney, Warner, Bloomberg, News Corp.,
  	MSNBC, ordinary people in conversation, etc.):  
  	Monopoly in this market is hardly a real threat. 
  	(2)  DISTRIBUTION -- getting content to subscribers
  	-- (Ma Bell, Baby Bells, cable owners, satellite systems,
  	local area microwave systems, actual disk type media, 
  	MS investments in many of these, etc.) : Again, no 
  	monopoly is in view; and none will be possible as global 
  	owners, national and private, take to space with satellites 
  	to defend their cultural existence. 
  	(3)  HARDWARE -- to be purchased or leased by
  	distributors and subscribers -- (IBM, Sun, Motorola,
  	Intel, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, SE Asia, Europe, China,
  	Russia, India, etc.):  Same story; no monopoly possible. 
  	(All nations may have to protect their production 
  	capability as a matter of national defense.)
  	(4)  SOFTWARE -- on hardware for distribution and
  	for reception:  (MS, Sun, Netscape, IBM, SAP, etc.):  
  	Now we  ARE  concerned that the larger inter/intra net 
  	market 	will not fall prey to MS the way the desktop PC 
  	has, the way other markets in the past were monopolized
  	against what became the law.
  	There has been much written and spoken about MS
  	because it may have $10 billion with which to make
  	predatory investments against the law.  
  	I will be content with curbing their illegal activity. If
  	this is done, they will invest in all of the above markets
  	and may become very formidable non-monopolists
  	in each.  I would applaud that.
  	MS in twenty years, as a giant with a 25% market share
  	in all the above markets, might be the largest financial
  	and engineering power on earth -- and I would be happy
  	if they could earn the right to such success.  (I would be
  	happy for any firm to earn that right -- if they obeyed
  	the law and offered top products.)  
  	(More than a 25% share in any of the above broad
  	markets by any single firm is something to be watched
  	with concern.)
  	It might very well be that much smaller competitors, 
  	with say a 1% share in only one each of the above 
  	markets, might offer "Cadillac" (old days?) quality 
  	against the largest share provider's plain black 
  	Model "T"' products. That would be fine. In time we 
  	might hope public taste 	would award highest market 
  	share to the best.  
  	Until that might occur, it is not MS or IBM's size that 
  	would be a concern, but its illegal and unfair tactics in 
  	whatever markets it serves.
          John Gelles                   email  address: myturn@vcol.net
          http://www.myturn.org   ;    http://www.rain.org/~jjgelles/
          URL's above seek enactment of an economic bill of rights.