Who can you antitrust?

Gregory Alan Bolcer (gbolcer@gambetta.ICS.uci.edu)
Mon, 01 Dec 1997 07:53:36 -0800


In case you haven't gotten enough of the DOJ/Microsoft spat.

DOJ's case:

o Microsoft is improperly using the dominance of its operationg
system for personal computers, Windwos 95, to coerce computer
makers into also installing its Internet Explorer Web browsers

Greg's take: No duh. You can't get the stupid thing *un*installed.

o Such action vilated terms of an agreement signed with the government
in 1994 that barred anti-competitive behavior.

Greg's take: Industry antitrust laywers can write circles around
federal employee antitrust lawyers any day of the week. No
suprise if this doesn't stand up to anything and have loopholes
the size of the bay bridge.

o The public is harmed because Microsoft rivals are weakened
and computer and software buyers are deprived of choice.

Greg's take: They are not deprived of the choice, they are just
too lazy to switch or too ignorant to realize you can.

Microsoft's case:

o Microsoft has not coerced computer manufacturers to load
its Web browser on their products, and the government has
incorrectly interpreted internal Microsoft documents to
make its case.

Greg's take: Buying out all of Netscape's contracts with all
of the manufacturers and replacing them with contracts for
IE which include early termination penalties 2-10 times the
cost of the original contract is very anti-competitive. How
can you misinterpret those documents?

o Internet Explorer is already integrated with operating system,
and the Justice Department has long known that the company
planned to take that step.

Greg's take: How can they not include it with with Windows? Have
you tried running IE under Solaris? I swear it must come with it's
own complete install of Windows or something. Give me the good
old days when OSs didn't even come with graphical toolkits.

o Consumers benefit from and like Microsoft's products, and the
nation's economy has benefited from Microsoft's innovations.

Greg's take: ...and Apple, Xerox, DEC, and Sun's innovations.
At least they don't fall prey to the NIH syndrome.