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post #121 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

AdMob is all about what's good for consumers, aren't they?

In precisely the way that Apple is not all about what's good for consumers, neither is AdMob.

ADMob is all about what is good for AdMob. In that respect, they are identical to Apple, who is all about what is good for Apple.

That is a normal situation.
post #122 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The existence of "government sanctioned monopolies" does not imply that they are legal. In fact, it would seem to imply the exact opposite, that they are illegal unless sanctioned by the government. Otherwise, why would government sanction be required?

If governments allow (sanction) them, that by definition makes them legal. The government cannot allow/saction/sponsor illegal activities, because by their sanction they make them legal. You are correct, that a government could allow only monopolies with their sanction, so unsanctioned monopolies might still be illegal. But their sanction does mean some monopolies are legal (i.e. the logical opposite of "all monopolies are illegal).

Governments and most economic theory discourages monopolies is most cases, but that doesn't make them illegal. But there are cases, where the benefits of a monopoly so outweigh the benefits, that they will legislatively create conditions that result in a monopoly. An example is when the state or federal government allows a single cable company access to government land in order to lay cable to support their business. The cable company is given a exclusive access, creating a monopoly.

While the language of the Sherman act seems to forbid monopolies of any kind, courts, including the US Supreme court, have interpreted it to mean coercive or abusive monopolies are illegal, but not monopolies in and of themselves.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #123 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Um no, they aren't. Not only are they not illegal, there are many example of government sanctioned monopolies.

Abuse of monopoly position is illegal. Using a monopoly or dominant control of a market to hinder fair trade is illegal. But being a monopoly is not, itsel,f illegal. A government trade regulatory body may act to prevent a monopoly situation from arising, for example through a merger, but only if it is demonstrated that that circumstance would be a hinderance to trade or would otherwise hurt consumers ability to choose. But, in some cases, they will allow the merger if the benefits of allowing the merger might outweigh the downsides (i.e. better able to provide necessary services).

Your cable company? A legal monopoly. AT&T? Used to be a legal monopoly until they started abusing it.

You are right, that they can be difficult to define in a courtroom, as a legally defined monopoly does not have to mean 100% market share. Monopolies are rarely encouraged by governments, but they are not illegal.

Correct.
post #124 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryAI View Post

Read Section 2 of the Sherman Act I quoted earlier. Monopolies are crimes. Proving a monopoly exists is hard to do in court. A court rarely declares a monopoly exists because defining the relevant market is so complex. Rarely does the DOJ prosecute these things because of the difficulty involved and the politics of the people in charge. But it drives me crazy when all these people posting to these chats or blogs that monopolies are not illegal. They are. Period.

i read part of the Wiki article on the Sherman act. you seem to be correct on several points that I disputed.
post #125 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I think I already explained some of this, but the word monopoly is used in the Sherman Act in a fairly archaic way to describe efforts to control markets. This is not the dictionary definition nor the economic definition of monopoly, which if they were the operative ones, would mean the laws would be fundamentally meaningless, since this state frequently exists even with the protection of government.

Scan the Findings of Fact in U.S. v. Microsoft. You'll see that the word "monopoly" is nearly always followed by "power," this being the basis for the findings of violations. The judge found that they didn't just have a monopoly, they had monopoly power. He found that they didn't just have monopoly power, they abused it to restrain trade.

http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm

Even better explanation. Thanks.
post #126 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

i read part of the Wiki article on the Sherman act. you seem to be correct on several points that I disputed.

You need to read what Tulkas and Dr. Millmoss wrote before jumping to simplistic conclusions.
post #127 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

QFT. Second, monopolies are not illegal. Abuse of monopolies to restrain trade is. Company A can legally dominate a product market unless it uses that dominance to create artificial barriers of entry into a market by Company B. If that is found to have occurred, then trade may have been illegally restrained by Company A.

Actually, Section 2 of the Clayton Act seems to prohibit monopolies. I glanced at the Wiki article which says that the nature of the formation of the monopoly is a relevant factor in the determination. So seemingly, some monopolies are illegal just because they exist, depending upon how they came into being.
post #128 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzysatsuma View Post

What rock have you been living under? You are obviously not someone that understands technology.

Android is technologically superior to iOS. iOS UX is superior to Android. Android is capable of way way more than iOS--- but UI isn't as smooth.

To put it in other words: iOS is form above function. Android is function above form.

Would you like to expand on some of the ways you think Android is technologically superior to iOS? And please stick to technological points. Don't bring in OS features that Android has exposed and iOS restricts. Those are not technological points but user experience. Don't say "because Android allows users to do this or that". Given us your thoughts on the technology that is superior in Android. For instance, is their memory management better? Is the networking layer more efficient? Is their API more elegant?

Apple does put more weight into form than Android, perhaps even with tradeoffs to function. But that doesn't mean their technology is in anyway inferior. In fact, being able to marry a better UI and experience to a foundation that is at least as technologically advanced as Android might imply it is more advanced.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #129 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

The information is not Apple's property. It belongs to the user. Nobody is entitled to it unless it is given by the user.

Of course they do. But in the current situation, the information is not Apple's. So it is not Apple's choice, and Apple would be doing no sharing. Nobody can or would compel Apple to share anything.

Both questions are irrelevant to the current facts.

You're one funny, confused guy. First you repeat ad nauseam that Apple just shares your information without your permission. And now you hide behind the fig leaf of permission "Nobody is entitled to it unless it is given by the user."

If you give your permission for Apple (or the ad server who is acting as Apple's agent) to gather and share it, then it becomes Apple's proprietary information. And so the questions are still relevant, you dolt.

Just for your benefit, I will restate the questions:

1. Is Google, Apple's direct competitor, entitled to private information about Apple's customers that those customers have given Apple permission to gather and share?

2. Does a company get to choose with whom they can share private information about their customers that those customers have given permission to gather and share?

Happy now, Stevie?
post #130 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

In precisely the way that Apple is not all about what's good for consumers, neither is AdMob.

ADMob is all about what is good for AdMob. In that respect, they are identical to Apple, who is all about what is good for Apple.

That is a normal situation.

It's a highly cynical, and incorrect, view that all companies are the same, equally good or bad for consumers, or all motivated by nothing but self-interest. In fact, just as individuals do things for a variety of reasons and motivations, so do companies. This shouldn't be surprising, companies being nothing but a collection of individuals. Yes, each company develops its own culture and tribal outlook, but this is something instilled by its leaders and the direction they give to the community.

I guess if you support a company (Google) that embodies evil in its actions (the collective actions of its employees, as outlined above) it gives some false comfort to you to pretend that all other companies are the same. But, they simply aren't any more than any two persons are.
post #131 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkeath View Post

You should probably explain this statement because I honestly think it's the dumbest thing I have read on the internet ever. Android is for every intent and purpose a smartphone just like the iPhone.

So, I think the concept here is that Android, the mobile operating device for portable handset devices, like cellphones, is viewed in the context of the comment as being a cobbled together pile of features rather than a coherent strategy for building a better a user experience/device in the smartphone category. The recent and rapid updates in Android (from 1.6 in Sept of 2009 to the current, recently released 2.2 in May 2010) to add or enhance competitive features seem to lend themselves to that perception.

I think however that judgement is harsh and not reflective of the actual platform. I think that while the iPhone owner population (those NOT fixated on mere features) is bye and large tremendously loyal and therefore resistive to migrating to an Android handset, Android stands to make significant inroads where there is low-hanging fruit - like Windows Mobile, and in the US making it very difficult for Symbian to gain marketshare. I wouldn't be surprised to see an attempt to leverage Android to cleanup in the feature phone category for most of the cellphone makers, allowing them to put an earlier version or other of Android on what were previously feature phones to drive install base. But they will water-down the Android perception as a true smartphone if they do that. The Android Marketplace is not nearly so well-supported by Google as the App Store is by Apple. Witness the increase of applications there compared to the much slower growth in the Android marketplace. And all of this is being supported on multiple US carriers against Apple's current single US carrier model, yet Apple is still growing marketshare in the US despite that limitation. If Applr revises their approach and releases the iPhone on other US carriers, I think that Android will lose some considerable competitive advantage.

post #132 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

only if they allow it, which of course you know.

some people actually like the idea of advertising targeted to their needs, so it may indeed be a good thing for some consumers, perhaps like this:


If the question were whether or not advertising is "a good thing for some consumers", you would have a point.

But given that the question was different from that, I don't think the point answers it.
post #133 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

It seems pretty obvious what is meant. Compared to the iPhone, as the OP admitted, it's just a bunch of features cobbled together in a smartphone wrapper. It's also quite obvious that it's not, "just like the iPhone."



I wasn't saying that Android phones are just like the iPhone. I was saying that it's a smartphone just like the iPhone. And you can't use rhetoric to justify that Android is just a feature phone OS. Show me some aspects of the iPhone or a Blackberry or WinMo (all 3 widely considered smartphones, regardless of whether they are good or not) and then show me where Android lacks in those areas because I don't think you really know what a smartphone is.
post #134 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

If governments allow (sanction) them, that by definition makes them legal. The government cannot allow/saction/sponsor illegal activities, because by their sanction they make them legal. You are correct, that a government could allow only monopolies with their sanction, so unsanctioned monopolies might still be illegal. But their sanction does mean some monopolies are legal (i.e. the logical opposite of "all monopolies are illegal).

Governments and most economic theory discourages monopolies is most cases, but that doesn't make them illegal. But there are cases, where the benefits of a monopoly so outweigh the benefits, that they will legislatively create conditions that result in a monopoly. An example is when the state or federal government allows a single cable company access to government land in order to lay cable to support their business. The cable company is given a exclusive access, creating a monopoly.

While the language of the Sherman act seems to forbid monopolies of any kind, courts, including the US Supreme court, have interpreted it to mean coercive or abusive monopolies are illegal, but not monopolies in and of themselves.

Hello? As I've said several times now, the language of the antitrust laws does not prohibit monopolies. They were never intended to do so. What they were designed to do is prohibit abuse of monopoly power. A basic concept, essential to understanding what is legal and what is illegal under the law. For example:

One of the first antitrust complaints brought against Microsoft was over their so-called "CPU tax." For many years Microsoft required all OEMs who wanted to bundle Microsoft's OS with their computers to pay Microsoft a license for every computer they sold, whether or not the computer included the OS. This created a situation wherein any computer sold with a competing OS installed would still have to pay Microsoft a license fee for that computer. It was not illegal for Microsoft to have the monopoly power to force the OEMs into accepting this arrangement, but it was illegal for them to actually take advantage of that power, and create the artificial barrier to competition.

Get it? I hope this distinction isn't too subtle, because it's critical.
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post #135 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkeath View Post

I wasn't saying that Android phones are just like the iPhone. I was saying that it's a smartphone just like the iPhone. And you can't use rhetoric to justify that Android is just a feature phone OS. Show me some aspects of the iPhone or a Blackberry or WinMo (all 3 widely considered smartphones, regardless of whether they are good or not) and then show me where Android lacks in those areas because I don't think you really know what a smartphone is.

I don't think you know how to use a forum.

And your question has already been answered by myself and others.
post #136 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Actually, I think information embedded in the device, such as the device id, does belong to Apple.

Why do you think that? What is your like of reasoning?






And "information embedded in the device" - can you make a case that ONLY that information is available? Your argument seems to depend on that being the case.

Otherwise, it would be true that Apple does not own (some of) the information under discussion. And you point is that Apple owns the information is seeks to suppress.
post #137 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Actually, Section 2 of the Clayton Act seems to prohibit monopolies. I glanced at the Wiki article which says that the nature of the formation of the monopoly is a relevant factor in the determination. So seemingly, some monopolies are illegal just because they exist, depending upon how they came into being.

The devil is in determining when a monopoly exists. 100% market share is not sufficient. You have to show that the alleged monopolist has also erected barriers to entry that prevent firms from entering into competition with the existing firm. That is not an easy task.

In Microsoft's case, to protect IE they erected barriers like punishing PC makers who preload a competing browser and other measures that (the exact term is) 'foreclosed' the browser market to IEs competitors. That is, Netscape was prevented from even presenting their product to the market and offering consumers an alternative to IE.
post #138 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Hello? As I've said several times now, the language of the antitrust laws does not prohibit monopolies. They were never intended to do so. What they were designed to do is prohibit abuse of monopoly power. A basic concept, essential to understanding what is legal and what is illegal under the law. For example:

One of the first antitrust complaints brought against Microsoft was over their so-called "CPU tax." For many years Microsoft required all OEMs who wanted to bundle Microsoft's OS with their computers to pay Microsoft a license for every computer they sold, whether or not the computer included the OS. This created a situation wherein any computer sold with a competing OS installed would still have to pay Microsoft a license fee for that computer. It was not illegal for Microsoft to have the monopoly power to force the OEMs into accepting this arrangement, but it was illegal for them to actually take advantage of that power, and create the artificial barrier to competition.

Get it? I hope this distinction isn't too subtle, because it's critical.

Huh? Isn't that what I said? Monopolies are not illegal. Abusive Monopolies are illegal.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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...sometimes it's both
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post #139 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Why do you think that? What is your like of reasoning?

And "information embedded in the device" - can you make a case that ONLY that information is available? Your argument seems to depend on that being the case.

Otherwise, it would be true that Apple does not own (some of) the information under discussion. And you point is that Apple owns the information is seeks to suppress.

Wow, this really gets tiresome, this point having been gone over so many times, in so many discussions...

1. Clearly, and for example, if Apple embeds its logo in firmware, and you buy a phone, you haven't bought the rights to the Apple logo, you haven't even bought the instance of the logo, just a license to use it on the hardware. The example previously given -- i.e., a device id -- is entirely analogous.

2. I never made an argument, "that ONLY that information is available." In fact, I was in this instance simply pointing out that you were incorrect in an assertion that all "information" on the device is the property of the user.
post #140 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Actually, Section 2 of the Clayton Act seems to prohibit monopolies. I glanced at the Wiki article which says that the nature of the formation of the monopoly is a relevant factor in the determination. So seemingly, some monopolies are illegal just because they exist, depending upon how they came into being.

Right, I think the Sherman Act is referring to the process of monopolization. If I invent the perfect widget I am bound to have the widget market to myself for some time at least. The law is not interested in whether I dominate the widget market and make money hand over fist by virtue of making a better widget. The law becomes interested when or if I start using that dominance to maintain or extend my dominance in the widget market by creating barriers to competition, if I use powers that nobody else in the market has in order to attempt to keep other widget makers from competing fairly with my widgets.

I think it's worth keeping in mind that American antitrust laws (Sherman and Clayton acts) were created to perfect markets, not to regulate markets. Big difference.
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post #141 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

The apps in question are not made by Apple. Instead, Apple retails the apps.

The market power in the device market is not a part of the current considerations of Apple's situation, IIRC.

As others have mentioned, you are completely unreasonable and non-sensical on what a monopoly is, and you are bent on proving that Apple has an abusive one.

This is like complaining about Coca Cola. Never mind that there are thousands if not millions of soft drink brands and varieties represented around the world, you want to home in on one brand that is successful in one flavor.

Like it or not, Coca Cola is successful -- they have defined the market in cola-flavored soft drinks. They are known as the "original", the "real thing." They probably have a major market share of cola drinks. So? Just because Coke is what everyone asks for, and that is what people know and love, does that mean the govt. needs to sanction Coca Cola?

Some Apple critics want Apple to share the love: what they want, in effect, is for Coca Cola to share its secret and differentiating formula with Pepsi and RC and every generic soft drink maker out there, simply because Coke has become a household word.

What you seem to want is to force Coca Cola to stock Pepsi in its vending machines! Come on. Sure, a can is a can is a can -- it is physically possible to stick a Pepsi can in a Coke machine. But you are violating the terms of use on that machine. Hey, you want to stock Pepsi on your premises, then go get a Pepsi machine. You are free to stock whatever the heck you want; but, however many people like Pepsi, just don't put it in a Coke machine. The App Store and iTunes is like a Coke vending machine -- they get to decide what products go into it, and how those products are made and packaged.
post #142 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Huh? Isn't that what I said? Monopolies are not illegal. Abusive Monopolies are illegal.

If that's what you meant, then I agree with you. I wasn't sure, since you also seemed to imply that monopolies could be seen to be illegal just for their existence. The clarification I was adding is that abuse is the critical ingredient.
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post #143 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


You are right, that they can be difficult to define in a courtroom, as a legally defined monopoly does not have to mean 100% market share. Monopolies are rarely encouraged by governments, but they are not illegal.

Read the Wiki article on the Sherman Act. It is very interesting.

It seems that certain monopolies are indeed per se illegal, depending upon other factors. For example, a monopoly formed by the merger of two big companies may be illegal, no matter what they do afterwards:

"A Section 1 violation has three elements:

1. An agreement
2. which unreasonably restrains competition
3. and which affects interstate commerce.

A Section 2 violation has 2 elements:

(1) the possession of monopoly power in the relevant market and
(2) the willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident. "

I'm very glad that I was incorrect previously. It means that I learned something today. The OP made good and correct points. I'd bet lots of readers got new info from him.
post #144 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I think I already explained some of this, but the word monopoly is used in the Sherman Act in a fairly archaic way to describe efforts to control markets. This is not the dictionary definition nor the economic definition of monopoly, which if they were the operative ones, would mean the laws would be fundamentally meaningless, since this state frequently exists even with the protection of government.

Scan the Findings of Fact in U.S. v. Microsoft. You'll see that the word "monopoly" is nearly always followed by "power," this being the basis for the findings of violations. The judge found that they didn't just have a monopoly, they had monopoly power. He found that they didn't just have monopoly power, they abused it to restrain trade.

http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm



Thanks.

So in the Sherman Act, what does the word mean? In what manner or sense is it different from the way the is used today word today by dictionaries and economists?



From my reading of the Sherman Act and a Wiki article, I get the impression that the word monopoly is used in the conventional sense in the act. Seemingly, it is the method of formation which is relevant to whether the monopoly is legal or illegal.
post #145 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

If that's what you meant, then I agree with you. I wasn't sure, since you also seemed to imply that monopolies could be seen to be illegal just for their existence. The clarification I was adding is that abuse is the critical ingredient.

I think it was my writing "While the language of the Sherman act seems to forbid monopolies of any kind, courts, including the US Supreme court, have interpreted it to mean coercive or abusive monopolies are illegal, but not monopolies in and of themselves." that caused the confusion.

Which, on reading the language, it certainly gives the impression that monopolies are illegal. That's why I used "seems" and further stated that the courts have said this is not the correct interpretation.

Anyhoo, lots of confusion for us all today.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #146 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King View Post

I have no opinion as to whether all of us would be better served by more or less advertising on the iPhone.

But what we most definitely do not need is Government intervention to determine what we need.

Let's duke it out in the free marketplace...while, at least a little part of the marketplace is still free.


The only thing that the government is trying to do is to keep the marketplace free. If there is no free marketplace, there is nowhere to duke it out.
post #147 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Read the Wiki article on the Sherman Act. It is very interesting.

It seems that certain monopolies are indeed per se illegal, depending upon other factors. For example, a monopoly formed by the merger of two big companies may be illegal, no matter what they do afterwards:

"A Section 1 violation has three elements:

1. An agreement
2. which unreasonably restrains competition
3. and which affects interstate commerce.

A Section 2 violation has 2 elements:

(1) the possession of monopoly power in the relevant market and
(2) the willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident. "

I'm very glad that I was incorrect previously. It means that I learned something today. The OP made good and correct points. I'd bet lots of readers got new info from him.

As you wrote, "It seems that certain monopolies are indeed per se illegal, depending upon other factors."

As Milmoss has pointed out, that is the critical point.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #148 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

You're one funny, confused guy. First you repeat ad nauseam that Apple just shares your information without your permission.


Nowhere did I say that. Go away.
post #149 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

It's a highly cynical, and incorrect, view that all companies are the same, equally good or bad for consumers,

I agree.
post #150 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Nowhere did I say that. Go away.

No, you just implied it repeatedly.
post #151 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Hello? As I've said several times now, the language of the antitrust laws does not prohibit monopolies. They were never intended to do so. What they were designed to do is prohibit abuse of monopoly power. A basic concept, essential to understanding what is legal and what is illegal under the law. For example:

One of the first antitrust complaints brought against Microsoft was over their so-called "CPU tax." For many years Microsoft required all OEMs who wanted to bundle Microsoft's OS with their computers to pay Microsoft a license for every computer they sold, whether or not the computer included the OS. This created a situation wherein any computer sold with a competing OS installed would still have to pay Microsoft a license fee for that computer. It was not illegal for Microsoft to have the monopoly power to force the OEMs into accepting this arrangement, but it was illegal for them to actually take advantage of that power, and create the artificial barrier to competition.

Get it? I hope this distinction isn't too subtle, because it's critical.

Please read the Wiki article on the Sherman Act. I'd love to discuss it.
post #152 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Thanks.

So in the Sherman Act, what does the word mean? In what manner or sense is it different from the way the is used today word today by dictionaries and economists?

From my reading of the Sherman Act and a Wiki article, I get the impression that the word monopoly is used in the conventional sense in the act. Seemingly, it is the method of formation which is relevant to whether the monopoly is legal or illegal.

In another thread I described antitrust law as a big hairball, which from what I've seen as a layman is a pretty accurate description. I'm not a lawyer so I don't pretend to understand the subtleties, but I did follow the Microsoft antitrust case quite closely so I have a sort of working understanding of what the government had to prove in that instance anyway.

The dictionary definition of monopoly isn't very helpful in understanding what the antitrust laws are attempting to prohibit. The economic definitions I've seen aren't of much help either.

The only reason I get kind of worked up about this issue is from my past experience with discussing the Microsoft case in venues like this one. I can't count the number of times I had to respond to the logic that if consumers had a choice, any choice at all, that Microsoft could not possibly have a problem under the law. The dictionary definition of monopoly was usually waved around as "proof" of that assertion. IOW, for practical purposes, they never could.

So whatever words are used in the Sherman Act, I learned that monopolies themselves are not the thing which was made illegal. Abuse of monopoly power (or better yet, market power) is. That's the key. A company can have all the power in the world, so long as they don't abuse it.
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post #153 of 313
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Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Hey Apple, open = good, closed = bad.


I take it then that you don't bother to lock your doors at night. What's your address again?
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post #154 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Wow, this really gets tiresome, this point having been gone over so many times, in so many discussions...

1. Clearly, and for example, if Apple embeds its logo in firmware, and you buy a phone, you haven't bought the rights to the Apple logo, you haven't even bought the instance of the logo, just a license to use it on the hardware. The example previously given -- i.e., a device id -- is entirely analogous.

2. I never made an argument, "that ONLY that information is available." In fact, I was in this instance simply pointing out that you were incorrect in an assertion that all "information" on the device is the property of the user.

Good. Ok. Now e are getting somewhere.

So you agree that Apple does NOT own all the information, so that talk of Apple providing proprietary information to competitors is a red herring?

Apple does not own some of/most of the information we are discussing. So the information is NOT the property of Apple, and Apple is not being asked to provide anything it owns to any competitor.

I'm glad we agree now. But it took a while to get there.
post #155 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Right, I think the Sherman Act is referring to the process of monopolization. If I invent the perfect widget I am bound to have the widget market to myself for some time at least. The law is not interested in whether I dominate the widget market and make money hand over fist by virtue of making a better widget. The law becomes interested when or if I start using that dominance to maintain or extend my dominance in the widget market by creating barriers to competition, if I use powers that nobody else in the market has in order to attempt to keep other widget makers from competing fairly with my widgets.

I think it's worth keeping in mind that American antitrust laws (Sherman and Clayton acts) were created to perfect markets, not to regulate markets. Big difference.

I think that if the widget manufacturer were to buy up all producers of raw materials, and refuse to sell raw materials to widget competitors, then their widget monopoly would violate the Clayton act. But if they made the best widget, and thereby gained their monopoly, no violation would exist.

The Clayton Act seems to be directed towards monopoly formation, making certain monopolies illegal, depending upon how they were formed.

But I'll gladly accept corrections and deeper insights.
post #156 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Good. Ok. Now e are getting somewhere.

So you agree that Apple does NOT own all the information, so that talk of Apple providing proprietary information to competitors is a red herring?

Apple does not own some of/most of the information we are discussing. So the information is NOT the property of Apple, and Apple is not being asked to provide anything it owns to any competitor.

I'm glad we agree now. But it took a while to get there.

No, we don't agree. In fact, I'd have to say that your reply is utterly misrepresentative, once again.
post #157 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

In another thread I described antitrust law as a big hairball, which from what I've seen as a layman is a pretty accurate description. I'm not a lawyer so I don't pretend to understand the subtleties, but I did follow the Microsoft antitrust case quite closely so I have a sort of working understanding of what the government had to prove in that instance anyway.

The dictionary definition of monopoly isn't very helpful in understanding what the antitrust laws are attempting to prohibit. The economic definitions I've seen aren't of much help either.

The only reason I get kind of worked up about this issue is from my past experience with discussing the Microsoft case in venues like this one. I can't count the number of times I had to respond to the logic that if consumers had a choice, any choice at all, that Microsoft could not possibly have a problem under the law. The dictionary definition of monopoly was usually waved around as "proof" of that assertion. IOW, for practical purposes, they never could.

So whatever words are used in the Sherman Act, I learned that monopolies themselves are not the thing which was made illegal. Abuse of monopoly power (or better yet, market power) is. That's the key. A company can have all the power in the world, so long as they don't abuse it.

Agree completely. Antitrust law is a bitch. Arguing from the Sherman and Clayton acts is not going to enlighten things much. The case law is probably more important then the original legislation. Especially after the courts shifted during the Reagan era and the focus moved from 'how much real competition is there?' to 'did it harm the consumer?'.

Anyway, I begin to digress.
post #158 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post

What you seem to want is to force Coca Cola to stock Pepsi in its vending machines!

Nope. We are not talking about a manufacturer in this context. Apple is not the manufacturer here - the devs are the manufacturers.

But lets go with your example. If Coke had the dominant beverage distribution company, and refused to supply stores that also sell a competitor's beverage in store-owned coolers, the analogy would be vastly better, albeit still very imperfect.
post #159 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Um no, they aren't. Not only are they not illegal, there are many example of government sanctioned monopolies.

Abuse of monopoly position is illegal. Using a monopoly or dominant control of a market to hinder fair trade is illegal. But being a monopoly is not, itsel,f illegal. A government trade regulatory body may act to prevent a monopoly situation from arising, for example through a merger, but only if it is demonstrated that that circumstance would be a hinderance to trade or would otherwise hurt consumers ability to choose. But, in some cases, they will allow the merger if the benefits of allowing the merger might outweigh the downsides (i.e. better able to provide necessary services).

Your cable company? A legal monopoly. AT&T? Used to be a legal monopoly until they started abusing it.

You are right, that they can be difficult to define in a courtroom, as a legally defined monopoly does not have to mean 100% market share. Monopolies are rarely encouraged by governments, but they are not illegal.

Legal monopolies can be granted by law, such as cable companies, or power companies, but those laws also directly regulate that kind of monopoly. My point is monopolies are illegal, but I should have qualified it that the government can grant one in the public interest. Absent an express grant of authority, a monopoly is illegal, whether abused or not
post #160 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

As you wrote, "It seems that certain monopolies are indeed per se illegal, depending upon other factors."

As Milmoss has pointed out, that is the critical point.

Naw. He was talking about actions taken by firms with monopoly power.

I was talking about completely different factors, having to do not with what the companies do, but rather, how they were formed.

Yes, "other factors" exist. But the phrase is used to mean different things in the two contexts.
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