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Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 17:43:12 -0500

"Rjack" <> wrote in message">
amicus_curious wrote:

"Rjack" <> wrote in message">

With the advent of the Obama administration, it is generally
expected that the Justice Department and the FTC will become much
more aggressive in antitrust enforcement matters.

With Microsoft's OS share hovering around 90%,

how can Microsoft best subtly assist OSX and Linux in order to
avert antitrust prosecutions under the new administration that will
resemble those in the EU?

I think that the Obama administration is more likely to consider the adverse effect of such silly prosecution on the overall economy. Consider that Microsoft is a large company that generates more than 60B worth of revenue per year. Why would the Obama administration try to hold them in check? Why would they favor replacing that 60B company with a collection of open sourcerers who rely on trade in kind and are adverse to such levels of profits? Would destroying Microsoft help the economy? I don't think so and I doubt that Obama's advisors are going to recommend that course of action.

Microsoft has absorbed the EU fines with ease since their prices in the EU are significantly higher than elsewhere in the world. They will stay in the EU as long as it is profitable to do so and so far it has been.

Statement of Senator Barack Obama for the American Antitrust Institute

"Regrettably, the current administration has what may be the weakest
record of antitrust enforcement of any administration in the last
half century. Between 1996 and 2000, the FTC and DOJ together
challenged on average more than 70 mergers per year on the grounds
that they would harm consumer welfare. In contrast, between 2001 and
2006,the FTC and DOJ on average only challenged 33. And in seven
years, the Bush Justice Department has not brought a single
monopolization case."

"As president, I will direct my administration to reinvigorate antitrust enforcement. It will step up review of merger activity and take effective action to stop or restructure those mergers that are likely to harm consumer welfare, while quickly clearing those that do
My administration will take aggressive action to curb the growth of international cartels, working alone and with other jurisdictions to ensure that firms, wherever located, that
collude to harm American consumers are brought to justice."

Microsoft is not the result of many mergers and acquisitions, rather the product of a rapidly growing market for computers in the home and workplace. They do not control the means of production and distribution of software, rather they control the production and distribution of Windows which is the product that the consumers seem to want in lieu of any other for the purpose.

It may well be useful to break up some conglomerates, but it is a wrong notion of business to think that the ideal is for there to be a lot of companies in a product market beating one another up on price. Rather it is necessary that companies invent and market products that make things more efficient and lower cost overall, benefiting the user and the supplier alike. Two or more companies offering the same product to the same consumers and cutting prices to the bone only serve to destroy progress.

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