Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why Antitrust is Not Worthy of Trust

My brother-in-law (a Linux user) was telling me that he was actually impressed with Windows 7. Since I will be buying a new computer in the next year, I thought I would look up any information about a release date, when I came across this:
"Microsoft has learned that this oversight is not going away very quickly, and that they have to deal with it proactively," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at JupiterResearch. "Their challenge for Windows 7 will be how can they continue to add features that consumers will want that also don't run afoul of regulators?"
You'll notice throughout the article that it is Microsoft's competition that is doing the complaining. Antitrust law is supposed to protect the consumers. In practice it protects firms from direct competition. What sense does it make anymore in the computer industry? How could anyone conceivably argue that Microsoft is a monopoly, or that computer technology is not competitive? I can't help but wonder how much better Window's operating systems would be if it were not for these limitations.
"Is Microsoft at a disadvantage here? Absolutely," he said. "No one else has this degree of oversight. No one's telling Apple, for example, that it can't include iTunes with Mac OS X."

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