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(Seattle Times)   Microsoft and AT&T whine monopoly. Google says "Take it like a man, ya wimps"   (seattletimes.nwsource.com) divider line 97
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10845 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Apr 2007 at 9:45 AM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2007-04-18 09:48:09 AM
Google is the next Microsoft, just with a cuddlier logo.
 
2007-04-18 09:48:28 AM
This deserves the "Ironic" tag, dontcha' think?
 
2007-04-18 09:48:42 AM
"Did you say Microsoft and AT&T?" Schmidt said, in response to a question Tuesday.

Noting that Microsoft and AT&T have had their share of antitrust skirmishes, he retorted, "Give me a break."

/golf clap
 
2007-04-18 09:48:50 AM
"Noting that Microsoft and AT&T have had their share of antitrust skirmishes, he retorted, "Give me a break.""

Google FTW!
 
2007-04-18 09:50:54 AM
I sometimes wonder if letting google gain this much is a problem, but then the google implanted chip in my mind tells me otherwise.
 
2007-04-18 09:53:21 AM
Donald_McRonald

But isn't it just easier on the mind when our corporate overlords are cuddly?

Someday the pandas will rule over us.
 
2007-04-18 09:55:25 AM
pot, kettle & things of this nature...
 
2007-04-18 09:59:36 AM
Some Texan

This deserves the "Ironic" tag, dontcha' think?

C'mon! This is Fark! We use Morisette Irony here.
 
2007-04-18 10:01:19 AM
You can make anything into a "monopoly" if you narrow the definition of a market enough. Online advertising is a tiny fraction of advertising as a whole.

Also, at least in economic terms, a monopoly is not necessarily a single seller. You can be the only seller and not be a monopolist. The only times a monopoly is bad is when it exercises monopoly pricing power to drive competition out when it enters, and then raising prices afterwards. If you are already the most efficient, though, the pricing remains the same (or continually drops and never rises). This is a GOOD thing.
 
2007-04-18 10:02:14 AM
I'd rather have benevolent corporate overlords than overlords that actively try to screw their subjects.

Although Google is effectively screwing its subjects in China.

That,combined with their acquisition of FLASHY BANNER AD COMPANY, kinda makes it seem like Google's slogan should be amended to "Don't be [as] evil [in comparison]."
 
2007-04-18 10:04:10 AM
Donald_McRonald
Google is the next Microsoft, just with a cuddlier logo.

Yet with the same colors. Hmm....
 
2007-04-18 10:04:14 AM
I'd have to say, I'd prefer Google to have the monopoly than MS or ATT. Don't really want ANY of them to have it, but Google defanetly comes across as the lesser evil by a long shot
 
2007-04-18 10:05:40 AM
M$ haters to your corner

Google haters to your corner

this match will be three rounds in the UFC ultra heavy weight devision.
 
2007-04-18 10:06:27 AM
And suddenly Microsoft learns the definition of pillow biting and realizes it's an ugly thing involving hairy men from California

static.flickr.com
 
2007-04-18 10:08:05 AM
hey survival of the fittest, it's the same in the corporate jungle as it is in the amazon jungle...these animals just happen to have opposable thumbs.

We should have a PS contest for the new logo Google will assume when they actually DO become our overlords
 
2007-04-18 10:08:12 AM
AussieFox: I'd have to say, I'd prefer Google to have the monopoly than MS or ATT. Don't really want ANY of them to have it, but Google defanetly comes across as the lesser evil by a long shot

Google has been able to do this by rebuffing their shareholders. As long as they are continually profitable, they'll be fine. If they ever fall on hard times (for whatever reason), I think they will change just like everyone else. The shareholders will demand it to cut costs. Not that its good, but it is what always happens. Microsoft used to be the cool hip company back in the 80s.
 
2007-04-18 10:09:36 AM
First off, Microsoft never has been nor ever will be a monopoly. AT&T was the *ONLY* provider of telephone services. Only as in: AT&T owned *EVERYTHING* dealing with telephony system - Lines, Telephones, all that good shiat. That would certainly constitute as a monopoly.

Microsoft does not create/own your computer hardware. Microsoft created MS-DOS way after other operating systems existed. Microsoft created Internet Explorer waaaay after other browsers existed. Microsoft created Microsoft Office WAAAAY after other office suites existed. Microsoft has never been the *ONLY* provider of software. Microsoft is just dominating the others in this crazy game called BUSINESS. I can still recall the days when Linux did not support USB. What good is that to me, when I have several devices that use USB? What good is an operating system to me when your major vendors don't rush to create drivers for it? I'll bet Microsoft was quite a hard-assed monopoly when it was CO-CREATING OS/2. Oh wait... choices would take away the concept of a monopoly.

Just because John Q. Public can't comprehend the idea of doing research on electronic devices and just accepting those pieces of shiat "as-is" from Best Buy, Walmart, CompUSA, Fry's, etc. as they are does not suddenly alter the definition of MONOPOLY.

If Microsoft is a monopoly then GM is a monopoly of automobiles. Why don't you start biatching about them? No...those Japanese manufacturers aren't real!
 
2007-04-18 10:09:44 AM
I have all the double click ad hosts blocked, so I don't see any of them anyways.
Couldn't give a fark who owns it, it's all the same, more ads pumped down my throat for things I don't need.
 
2007-04-18 10:09:44 AM
There's a long leap to "Monopoly". Especially when it comes to Internet marketing- there's a surprisingly low barrier-to-entry for the market- it's not like railroads or steel foundries where there's a limited physical resource being monopolized.

I'd be more concerned with the Google branding eradicating all other search engines.
 
2007-04-18 10:12:10 AM
I told you not to go off alone with your creepy Uncle Google! I told you!
Walk it off Johnny, walk it off.
 
2007-04-18 10:12:11 AM
img159.imageshack.us
 
2007-04-18 10:12:39 AM
Jubeebee

I'd rather have benevolent corporate overlords than overlords that actively try to screw their subjects.

Although Google is effectively screwing its subjects in China.

That,combined with their acquisition of FLASHY BANNER AD COMPANY, kinda makes it seem like Google's slogan should be amended to "Don't be [as] evil [in comparison]."


Well it seems to work in politics at the moment, as long as you don't pollute as much, torture as badly, or whatever the subject is, the worst of every major government in the world, then you are okay doing what you are doing. They should be able to do the same and claim as long as they aren't as bad as Microsoft and the like then everyone should give them a free pass with whatever censorship and monopolies they feel like.
 
2007-04-18 10:13:55 AM
I would imagine that the Ironic Tag wasn't used for this story because it probably exploded. Therefor, I guess the Dumbass tag is acceptable, though I would have probably gone with Stupid...
 
2007-04-18 10:14:23 AM
img252.imageshack.us
 
2007-04-18 10:14:36 AM
electricmayhem

You do realize, regardless of what your arm chair legal interpretation is, that a federal judge did indeed find Microsoft to be a monopoly, right?
 
2007-04-18 10:15:14 AM
mrsleep

I have all the double click ad hosts blocked, so I don't see any of them anyways.
Couldn't give a fark who owns it, it's all the same, more ads pumped down my throat for things I don't need.


What? You say you don't want a bigger whang pumped down your throat?

/oh, ads for. gotcha.
//not that it's a bad thing
 
2007-04-18 10:20:41 AM
ccmods: You do realize, regardless of what your arm chair legal interpretation is, that a federal judge did indeed find Microsoft to be a monopoly, right?

They were certainly ruled as a legal monopoly. They fit no economic definition of one, though. Microsoft continually lowered prices, and only defeated competitors that actually produced worse products. And if they were such a great monopoly, they wouldn't have all the competition they have now, since that judgment was overturned.

A legal monopoly and an economic monopoly are not remotely the same thing. Standard Oil controlled 64% of the market at the time of their breakup.
 
2007-04-18 10:22:06 AM
i34.photobucket.com
 
2007-04-18 10:24:27 AM
ccmods: You do realize, regardless of what your arm chair legal interpretation is, that a federal judge did indeed find Microsoft to be a monopoly, right?

It's a decision that's been questioned with 20/20 hindsight. That decision was based on a poor understanding of technology and IT business practices- and Microsoft was not found "to be a monopoly". It was found to be using anti-competitive practices under anti-trust laws- which is way different from being a monopoly.
 
2007-04-18 10:27:43 AM
ccmods: You do realize our court system is the same one that allowed developers to take away land from people and build shopping malls... "for the good of the community". Just because they "say so" doesn't make it right/true.. just even more of a pain in the ass to fight.
 
2007-04-18 10:28:28 AM
Rational Exuberance: Microsoft continually lowered prices, and only defeated competitors that actually produced worse products

Not entirely true. A big reason that Microsoft "beat" the competition was through agreements with big hardware manufacturers, that their OS would be the only OS sold on the machines they built. While other, potentially better solutions arose, they used this power to shut other OS providers out of the market. So yes, at one point they were indeed top dog. However, they used their one time leverage to attempt to shut out other competitors.



And if they were such a great monopoly, they wouldn't have all the competition they have now, since that judgment was overturned.

Monopoly's are not permanent objects; they may exist for a while and then disappear, with no intervention whatsoever. And you are right; the ruling was overturned. However, the ruling only overturned the split of Microsoft into two factions, not the fact that they were a monopoly at the time.
 
2007-04-18 10:33:36 AM
I see people calling "irony"... It's close. But it's more like hypocrisy... Perhaps this picture will sum it up:

www.durbnpoisn.com
 
2007-04-18 10:33:51 AM
2055 A.D.

The United States, in coordination with Google Military, launched a full blown offensive today on Iraq II, after claims of..

Google will rule the world.
 
2007-04-18 10:33:55 AM
This is just the corporate version of that cable show "It takes a Thief..."

Microsoft and AT&T are showing the judicial system how Google will be able to rob them blind.. from experience.
 
2007-04-18 10:35:42 AM
Rational Exuberance: They were certainly ruled as a legal monopoly. They fit no economic definition of one, though. Microsoft continually lowered prices, and only defeated competitors that actually produced worse products. And if they were such a great monopoly, they wouldn't have all the competition they have now, since that judgment was overturned.

First of all, you do not have to be the only provider of service to be found guilty of anti-trust violations. Secondly, being a monopoly is not illegal, violating anti-trust regulations is. Microsoft was found guilty of anti-trust violations because they comprised of 90% of the PC market and were pulling contracts for vendors who tried to sell other operating systems along side the Microsoft products. This would be the same situation if Coke forced all grocery stores to not sell Pepsi by yanking their contracts or raising the cost. It's illegal because it means you're not trying to win based on merit, you're trying to win based on the fact that you're the number one brand. At the time this practice began Windows (3.11 and NT 4) were on par with respect to features and hardware support when compared to other operating systems. Over time the other operating systems vendors lost funding because of Microsoft's illegal trade practices and you're right, there's now a large technical gap between Windows operating systems and the competition. Their progress basically came to a grinding halt because they were not given the opportunity to compete fairly in the market.
 
2007-04-18 10:36:31 AM
img.fark.com?
 
2007-04-18 10:38:32 AM
ccmods: Monopoly's are not permanent objects; they may exist for a while and then disappear, with no intervention whatsoever. And you are right; the ruling was overturned. However, the ruling only overturned the split of Microsoft into two factions, not the fact that they were a monopoly at the time.

Yes, the FoF stated that Microsoft was a monopoly, and had the judgment ordered to break them up. The FoF stood, but the judgment was overturned.

But the very definition of a monopoly means that competition could never come in. You could use your pricing power to lower prices to the point to destroy the competition, and raise them again. If you can be beaten by a potential competitor, you are NOT a monopoly.

Note that I am of the positions that monopolies don't really exist unless sponsored by the government, or are allowed to use force. That's why AT&T might have been a monopoly, because they (or baby bells) were up until 1996 a sole provider in most areas.

Not entirely true. A big reason that Microsoft "beat" the competition was through agreements with big hardware manufacturers, that their OS would be the only OS sold on the machines they built. While other, potentially better solutions arose, they used this power to shut other OS providers out of the market. So yes, at one point they were indeed top dog. However, they used their one time leverage to attempt to shut out other competitors.

I have a hard time with this one. Tying makes the prices lower for consumers. It is a natural efficiency and an economy of scope. I don't see how this makes it anti-competitive, though. If people are getting lower prices than otherwise (which they surely are; software purchased on its own is more expensive), then I'm not really seeing the harm to consumers.
 
2007-04-18 10:38:55 AM
When oh when will Google put out an OS?

XP is probably the last OS I will ever buy from MS.
 
2007-04-18 10:43:49 AM
img.photobucket.com
 
2007-04-18 10:45:37 AM
Rational Exuberance: But the very definition of a monopoly means that competition could never come in. You could use your pricing power to lower prices to the point to destroy the competition, and raise them again. If you can be beaten by a potential competitor, you are NOT a monopoly.

I'm not sure what definition you are working off of, but I have never in my life heard of such a definition. Would you please cite that?
 
2007-04-18 10:45:38 AM
the_geek: Microsoft was found guilty of anti-trust violations because they comprised of 90% of the PC market and were pulling contracts for vendors who tried to sell other operating systems along side the Microsoft products. This would be the same situation if Coke forced all grocery stores to not sell Pepsi by yanking their contracts or raising the cost.

Doesn't Coke and Pepsi already do this? Can you find a Coke and Pepsi fountain drink side by side?

The raising the cost part is where the anti-trust aspect falls apart. It makes the item more expensive, and people's tastes for software and soft drinks only go so far as price. Everyone admitted even back then that Microsoft software was inferior to Unix alternatives, but it was quite a biatcheaper.

Over time the other operating systems vendors lost funding because of Microsoft's illegal trade practices and you're right, there's now a large technical gap between Windows operating systems and the competition. Their progress basically came to a grinding halt because they were not given the opportunity to compete fairly in the market.

That's kind of my point. If they had no real judgment against them (barring what's going on in the EU right now), and they are facing significant competition, then how exactly were they anti-competitive? Why wouldn't they still be? The market isn't a static thing; the technology is what enables the competition, and it's why anti-competitive monopoly behavior isn't sustainable. I'll submit Microsoft may have engaged in some of that, but I don't see any evidence of a sustainable monopoly in any field. It's a losing proposition, and competition will come in to take advantage.
 
2007-04-18 10:47:38 AM
t3knomanser: It's a decision that's been questioned with 20/20 hindsight. That decision was based on a poor understanding of technology and IT business practices- and Microsoft was not found "to be a monopoly". It was found to be using anti-competitive practices under anti-trust laws- which is way different from being a monopoly.

The ruling Judge used the phrase "monopoly power." While they have been shown to use anti-competitive measures in other cases, I am only referring to the court case where they were shown to "enjoy monopoly power."
 
2007-04-18 10:48:04 AM
ccmods: Rational Exuberance: But the very definition of a monopoly means that competition could never come in. You could use your pricing power to lower prices to the point to destroy the competition, and raise them again. If you can be beaten by a potential competitor, you are NOT a monopoly.

I'm not sure what definition you are working off of, but I have never in my life heard of such a definition. Would you please cite that?


Primary characteristics of a monopoly

* Single Seller: For a pure monopoly to take place, only one company can be selling the good. A company can have a monopoly on certain goods and not on other goods.
* No close substitutes: Monopoly is not merely the state of having a unique or recognizable product, but also that there are no close substitutes available for the function the good fills.
* Price maker: Because a single firm controls the total supply in a pure monopoly, it is able to exert a significant degree of control over the price by changing the quantity supplied.
* Significant Barrier of Entry: In a monopoly, it is usually harder for other firms to get into the industry to provide the same goods or services as the company who is already the dominant firm of the industry.


It's the fourth that I'm talking about. The monopolist creates barriers to entry so competitors can't enter the market. Note that this does not match the legal definitions for monopoly and anti-competitive behavior.
 
2007-04-18 10:52:27 AM
farm1.static.flickr.com
 
2007-04-18 10:53:59 AM
Honestly, as long as Google keeps cranking out quality ideas, I have no issue with them. I don't see them as a monopoly.
 
2007-04-18 10:56:57 AM
electricmayhem: You do realize our court system is the same one that allowed developers to take away land from people and build shopping malls... "for the good of the community". Just because they "say so" doesn't make it right/true.. just even more of a pain in the ass to fight.

I do. However, one must split apart their "moral" issues from legal issues. While we may not agree with the rulings handed down in certain cases, the blame lays firmly on those who fought those cases; blame the person who made the case, not the underlying legal interpretations as a result and set bad precedence for future rulings.

Rational Exuberance: It's the fourth that I'm talking about.

Since I really have no idea how you can't see it, I'll go one by one:

* Single Seller: For a pure monopoly to take place, only one company can be selling the good. A company can have a monopoly on certain goods and not on other goods. Microsoft holds exclusive licensing agreements with almost all major PC manufacturers.


* No close substitutes: Monopoly is not merely the state of having a unique or recognizable product, but also that there are no close substitutes available for the function the good fills.
At the time of the ruling, this was also true. Some would say it's still true; Linux is still not as friendly as Windows is, and anyone who attempts to do so gets sued by Microsoft and/or bought off and their projects killed. Embrace, extend, extinguish.

* Price maker: Because a single firm controls the total supply in a pure monopoly, it is able to exert a significant degree of control over the price by changing the quantity supplied. Also true. They can modify their pricepoint easily to wipe out competitors. For an example of this, see third world countries and the "deals" microsoft gives them on software to dump open source alternatives.


* Significant Barrier of Entry: In a monopoly, it is usually harder for other firms to get into the industry to provide the same goods or services as the company who is already the dominant firm of the industry.


This bottom one seems to be the one that you don't like. "The monopolist creates barriers to entry so competitors can't enter the market." I fail to see how Microsoft has not created barriers. They've run numerous smear campaigns about the evils of open source. They've offered cut rate pricing to companies threatening to go open source. They've tied their operating system to hardware manufacturers, making it difficult for a competitor to advertise and bundle their product. By putting out incompatible "one off" products(see Java, openGL) they force open source developers to choose between the current market leader, and to develop for everyone else. And anyone who attempts to bridge the gap gets sued repeatedly for stepping on Microsoft's so called "intellectual property". All of this sets up barriers for others to jump into the field.
 
2007-04-18 10:58:22 AM
Some Texan

This deserves the "Ironic" tag, dontcha' think?


Absolutely.
 
2007-04-18 11:04:09 AM
Microsoft saying anything on this issue is pot meet kettle, but they are still right. This is a monopoly. Google has managed to keep alot of respect, for a company their size/power, but this is too much control over advertising. It would be next to impossible for new entrants if the dominant 'guide' for the internet is also the biggest advertising backbone.

The government won't stop this though, even if it falls to Hillary Clinton's administration.
 
2007-04-18 11:14:15 AM
ccmods: Microsoft holds exclusive licensing agreements with almost all major PC manufacturers.

I addressed this above. The cost to consumers in a tying arrangement is lower than if hardware and software were separate. They are natural (and I hate this word) synergies. This does not mean anti-competitive.

* No close substitutes: Monopoly is not merely the state of having a unique or recognizable product, but also that there are no close substitutes available for the function the good fills. At the time of the ruling, this was also true. Some would say it's still true; Linux is still not as friendly as Windows is, and anyone who attempts to do so gets sued by Microsoft and/or bought off and their projects killed. Embrace, extend, extinguish.

Well, I can't really blame Microsoft if Linux is an inferior product in certain ways(i.e. not as friendly). But to the other point, there were alternatives that were close substitutes. They were more expensive, but there were substitutes. Now, the whole "embrace, extend, extinguish" shows that they are IMPROVING their products. A monopoly has no real incentive to improve a product.

Also true. They can modify their pricepoint easily to wipe out competitors. For an example of this, see third world countries and the "deals" microsoft gives them on software to dump open source alternatives.

If they were a monopoly, they certainly could do that. However, to be a good monopolist, you would have to lower prices to destroy competition, and raise them afterwards. Otherwise, you would just be losing money.

This bottom one seems to be the one that you don't like. "The monopolist creates barriers to entry so competitors can't enter the market." I fail to see how Microsoft has not created barriers. They've run numerous smear campaigns about the evils of open source. They've offered cut rate pricing to companies threatening to go open source. They've tied their operating system to hardware manufacturers, making it difficult for a competitor to advertise and bundle their product. By putting out incompatible "one off" products(see Java, openGL) they force open source developers to choose between the current market leader, and to develop for everyone else. And anyone who attempts to bridge the gap gets sued repeatedly for stepping on Microsoft's so called "intellectual property". All of this sets up barriers for others to jump into the field.

Creating different products than the "standard" doesn't mean you are creating a barrier to entry. Neither are marketing campaigns. A truly superior product at that price point would overcome these. And there have been superior aspects of these products, which Microsoft has purchased.

I'm not a lover of Microsoft or anything, but I hear the cry of monopoly way too often. I just don't see where the consumer harm is where they supposedly exist. If prices are low, and aren't rising, then it seems to be good for consumers.

Now, monopolies like the post office and cable/phone/electric/water companies ARE harmful. They are guaranteed by the government to create a barrier to entry. They really are able to exercise pricing power.
 
2007-04-18 11:15:56 AM
Man, just 7 or 8 years ago Google was just this neat little alternative search engine. They've gone from "fun little site" to "king of the evil corporate bastards" in record time.
 
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