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5 Comments
  1. 26/08/2009 07:18

    Wow..great information..Thanks for this sharing.

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  2. Sewardstone permalink
    23/08/2009 21:28

    It is good to see some response here, thought Adam was on his own.

    Adam you are too soft on these issues

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  3. adamsmith1922 permalink*
    23/08/2009 21:21

    From a history perspective see Chernow for example

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  4. adamsmith1922 permalink*
    23/08/2009 21:20

    Paul

    Overall I think my view was more pro Microsoft than anti

    Whilst appreciating the economic issue, which I think is massively misunderstood, there is a social issue as well.

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  5. 23/08/2009 21:06

    “Is it far fetched to liken Google in reach and influence as approaching in it’s sphere of operations as dominant a position as J D Rockerfeller and his Standard Oil Trust did?

    Remember that the big ‘trusts’ were broken up by the US Government in the early 1900s.”

    For some actual information on the Standard Oil case and why it was a waste of time see “Predatory Price Cutting: The Standard Oil (N. J.) Case”, John S. McGee
    Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 1. (Oct., 1958), pp. 137-169 and for a summary see here

    And that breakup did a lot more harm than good. As did the anti-trust cases against IBM and Microsoft. An attack on Google will do no good either.

    On “The Ghost of John D. Rockefeller” see here. Thomas J. DiLorenzo wrties,

    “Microsoft’s critics are right. There are many similarities between Bill Gates’s company and the old Standard Oil organization.

    Like Gates, Rockefeller was the victim of a political assault for the “sin” of rapid innovation, a vast expansion of output, and rapidly declining prices just the opposite of what the antitrust laws ostensibly police. As with Microsoft, the political attack on Standard Oil was launched by less-efficient rivals who wanted to achieve through the political process what they failed to achieve in the marketplace.

    There is indeed a lesson to be learned from Rockefeller’s antitrust ordeal, but it is not the one Microsoft’s critics have in mind.”

    As far as empirical evidence goes it tends to suggest that anti-trust policy does not improve consumer welfare by much. Robert W. Crandall and Clifford Winston look at the effects of antitrust enforcement in the US and ask Does Antitrust Policy Improve Consumer Welfare? And the short answer is, not much. Crandall and Winston write,

    “In this paper, we argue that the current empirical record of antitrust enforcement is weak.”

    and add

    “We then synthesize the available research regarding the economic effects of three major areas of antitrust policy and enforcement: changing the structure or behavior of monopolies; prosecuting firms that engage in anticompetitive practices, namely, price fixing and other forms of collusion; and reviewing proposed mergers. We find little empirical evidence that past interventions have provided much direct benefit to consumers or significantly deterred anticompetitive behavior.”

    The Robert W. Crandall and Clifford Winston paper is “Does Antitrust Policy Improve Consumer Welfare? Assessing the Evidence”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 17(4) Fall 2003.

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