Re: Coercive Monopolies in Technical Markets (Intro)

From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Fri Apr 13 2001 - 20:35:40 PDT

The phone company was of course one of these, though that was due to
traditional gov't franchise rather than otherwise. Local carriers
continued to be this until recently. Cable.

Still... it's a good question. The point I'm really trying to push
is that the fundamental purpose of any "network" is to connect things
together. IMO, trouble happens when you control the network and the
things that are supposed to be plugged together. The value of the
network (and hence its inherent barriers to entry for competition,
and the corresponding inability for anyone else to extend the
network) rises with the square of the number of things it connects.
An OS may be a uniquely appropriate and obvious example: it is in
some sense a "network" of componentry.

Other examples? I'm just getting warmed up on this, so I'll see what
else I can come up with. (I'm thinking there may RIAA and MPAA
examples that will be useful, but they're not really monopolies in a
traditional sense. Rather there an example of a harmful collective /


Gordon Mohr wrote:

> The title mentions "monopolies"; but are there any examples
> other than Microsoft?
> - Gordon

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