Re: Coercive Monopolies in Technical Markets (Intro)

From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Fri Apr 13 2001 - 14:22:15 PDT

Jeff Bone wrote:
> > It was not the case that MS won by fear and
> > intimidation, if that were the case Apple should have won (see previous
> > posts about gold dealers, supoply chains, job rants on the floor, etc).
> > Rather MS won by sucking but sucking with good PR.]]
> Actually, fear, intimidation, tying, and a general set of tactics originally
> designed to compete with / overthrow *IBM* are what won the day for Microsoft.
> (This is all pretty well documented by now through popular books on MS and
> through the trial records of its various legal challenges.) Should these
> things be illegal? Aside from tying, I'd say not, and I'm hard-pressed to
> clearly state why tying should be illegal.
> jb

Tying is illegal, and should be, because on its face it means that a
company with control over the consumer in one area is forcing the
consumer to give them dominance in another without first winning
dominance on merit alone. This, on its face, is bad for said consumer
even as the consumer participates because there was no competition on

The end result is lack of competition = death of capitalism.

MS, after having done this in several lucrative markets (Office in
particular, but also compilers, web servers, etc.), now has so much
money that they CAN compete on merit. Whether they actually do is up
for debate. They now have gained a reputation for tying and stealing
technology that, according to press acounts, long ago caused a drying up
of capital in anything directly competing with them, or at least a bias
to a large extent.

That kind of logic can lead you to the conclusion that it's already
runaway and a breakup is the only solution.


Stephen D. Williams
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 

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