Re: Working Within the System

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Mon May 01 2000 - 13:03:23 MDT

>From: Martin Ling <>
>I strongly advise you to read Judge Jackson's original Findings of Fact
>in the Microsoft case, at:
>Microsoft's practices have sought to establish and maintain a monopoly
>in the operating system field. They have then used the leverage this has
>given them to establish strongholds in other areas. In all of these,
>they have ignored standards compliance, acted uncompetetively to the
>point of illegality and in general been directly in the way of free and
>open control of technological development - something I know people on
>this list support.

The truth of the matter is that what is legal competition as opposed to
unlawful "anti-competitive" business practice is largely a matter of
opinion. Judge Jackson's findings notwithstanding, it is quite feasible
that another judge, on the same facts, would have found MS not to have
violated the law. There is no "bright line" in the law to distinguish legal
from illegal competition. IMO, if there were such a bright line, far fewer
companies would cross it and there would be far fewer antitrust suits

Virtually every "for profit" business seeks to maximize its own profits.
Since the pool of potential customers is limited, capitalism is a "zero sum
game". Meaning the more customers I have, the fewer customers my
competition gets. Thus, any attempt to maximize profits (which is what
*every* for profit business does) is an attempt to establish a monopoly.

Apple, for instance, not only wanted a software monopoly, they wanted a
hardware monopoly too. They wanted every PC user to use the Apple OS *and*
they wanted to be the *only* company manufacturing the PC's to run the OS.
Apple was so confidence in their dominance in the PC space that they didn't
have the foresight to license the technology to other manufacturers. They
wanted to keep it all to themselves. Yet, while Gates is vilified, Jobs is
canonized as some sort of saint. The reason for this is simply that Jobs
was not nearly as successful in his businsess endeavors as Gates was.
Gates' only sin was success.


"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
--Thomas Jefferson

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