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EU Threatens Microsoft With More Fines
#1
EU Threateans Microsoft with More Fines

"The European Commission warned Microsoft on Thursday it faced further fines in its long-running antitrust battle with Brussels, this time for seeking unreasonable prices from software makers for vital data." (Washington Post, Thursday)[/u]

How absurd for a company to think it owns its own property! It is the nature of Anti-Trust laws, which would impose a degree of tyranny on those, who wish to practice Free Enterprise. Here is a classic essay on the evils of these laws.


Quote: The Immorality of Antitrust Law
By D.T. Armentano

D.T. Armentano is professor emeritus in economics at the University of Hartford and the author of Antitrust: The Case for Repeal (Mises Institute, 1999).

The economic inefficiencies associated with antitrust law enforcement are now generally acknowledged. The regulation of mergers and acquisitions hampers the efficient reallocation of corporate assets. The antitrust regulation of product prices and innovation (as in the recent Microsoft case) protects less-efficient business competitors and harms consumers. A century of antitrust litigation—both public and private—confirms that the laws restrain the competitive process and make economic activity less efficient.

Economic issues aside, the antitrust laws also interfere with commonsense notions of liberty and justice, as Adam Smith remarked in The Wealth of Nations. Pro-antitrust economists never tire of citing Smith’s famous condemnation of price fixers: “people of the same trade seldom meet together . . . but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” But those same economists rarely acknowledge that Smith immediately went on to assert that “it is impossible, indeed, to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice.” Smith, a professor of moral philosophy, was opposed to antitrust law on practical and ethical grounds.

How do antitrust laws interfere with liberty? All the important antitrust statutes (Sherman Act, Clayton Act, Federal Trade Commission Act) regulate or prohibit purely voluntary or consensual business activity. For example, free-market monopolization implies that consumers choose freely to support only one supplier of some product or service. Free-market prices—whether they are described as discriminatory, or predatory, or collusive—are all determined through voluntary agreement and exchange. Mergers involve voluntary acquisitions of stock or assets. Tying contracts or exclusive dealing agreements are voluntary arrangements to purchase one good and forgo the purchase of another. Since liberty (in a business context) implies the natural right to make any agreement to trade legitimately owned property on any terms mutually acceptable, then antitrust law must interfere with liberty.

[b]Microsoft Case


Consider the recent Microsoft antitrust case. The software company clearly has a property right to its software. It has a property right to license (or not license) its software to any PC manufacturers on any terms mutually agreeable. It has a property right to integrate its Web browser, Internet Explorer, into its Windows 98 operating system. And it has a property right to prohibit any licensee’s deleting any part of its Windows operating code. The federal government’s and the states’ attempts to regulate all these peaceful activities (and more) are not only irrational but clearly invasive of liberty and property rights as well.

The antitrust suit against Microsoft is also absurdly unjust. Microsoft is the world’s premier software corporation. It earned its market position by innovating a user-friendly operating system at minimal cost to the consumer. And rather than “restrain” trade, it has licensed its operating system to hundreds of PC manufacturers here and abroad. That it competed vigorously for market share cannot be doubted; but more important, it committed neither force nor fraud in its commercial activities. Yet for all this, it was rewarded with massive competitor envy and a decade of legal harassment from both the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department.

Antitrust and the Rule of Law

Substantive abuses of liberty and justice occur with antitrust enforcement because owners of property (or trustees standing in for owners) are prevented from engaging in peaceful trade and exchange. But there are also “procedural” difficulties with antitrust regulation. For example, antitrust case law is so inconsistent that it is almost impossible to know from one case to the next which business practices are illegal and which are not. “Predatory prices” are illegal, but how low must prices go (and for how long) before they become predatory? In a “monopoly” case, how will the relevant market share be determined and what percentage of the relevant market will the court determine is monopoly? Mergers and tying agreements are illegal if they “substantially reduce competition,” but no Congress or court has ever clearly defined that expression with any precision—nor could they. Corporations and businesspeople indicted under antitrust regulation can only discover after the fact if they have violated antitrust law. This legal subjectivity is the major reason why those accused of antitrust violations settle their cases pretrial or with a consent decree.

The laws are also inherently discriminatory. In the Microsoft case, for example, the company was accused of entering into exclusive dealing agreements with PC manufacturers; it was also accused of refusing to allow PC manufacturers to delete the Web browser from Windows 98. Yet many of Microsoft’s competitors employ similar exclusive agreements with manufacturers, and many refuse to allow a licensee to delete any part of their proprietary software code. If the court rules against Microsoft, the company will have to change those practices—but its competitors will not. They will be perfectly free to engage in the very activity explicitly forbidden to Microsoft. If you think that this is unfair (as you should), remember that this is antitrust. As the judge in the 1953 United Shoe Machinery case put it: it was morally acceptable for the court to impose discriminatory requirements on the defendant, United Shoe Machinery Corporation, and not on its competitors since United’s unique efficiency already put it in a class by itself.

Over 100 years of experience with antitrust regulation confirms Adam Smith’s prediction that the laws are inherently abusive of liberty and justice. When our legislators gain the moral courage to repeal the vast antitrust apparatus, both economic performance and individual liberty will be expanded greatly.

Counting on politicians to have enough moral courage to do the 'right thing', may be expecting too much.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
H. L. Mencken
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#2
All I can say is, if someone (open or commercial software) would develop
-- a word processor as good as word 97
-- a spread sheet as good as excel 97
-- drivers for printers, scanners, etc
-- a web browser as good as firefox 2.0
-- a method for compiling windows programs to work on Linux
for Linux, I would change to Linux in a moment.

Until, then Microsoft has a lock on operating systems. Why is this good?
Reply
#3
jt Wrote:All I can say is, if someone (open or commercial software) would develop
-- a word processor as good as word 97
-- a spread sheet as good as excel 97
-- drivers for printers, scanners, etc
-- a web browser as good as firefox 2.0
-- a method for compiling windows programs to work on Linux
for Linux, I would change to Linux in a moment.

Until, then Microsoft has a lock on operating systems. Why is this good?

I did not say it was all that good: I have problems with MS as well. It is the Tyrannical actions of the Euros, that has me vexed.

First, Windows is NOT a monopoly. There are competitors out there.

As for a good office suite, try Open Office.

As for a browser as good as Firefox, try Opera, which is DEFINATELY better. I have used Opera for over eight years, and it is the Best one out there.

As for drivers, my Canon IP4000 has Linux drivers available. Just don't get the newest thing out there, and let the nerds fix that problem before taking the printer home. Since I use bulk ink, I Never buy the newest printer out there, but wait for the after market ink makers to come up with a good and cheaper alternative.

As for a program that will run Windows programs, try WINE. The delux product is not free, but it works on most Windows programs, and is getting better all the time.

And Windows has a 'so called' lock on the market, because Windows was brilliantly managed and set up, thus running rings around Apple, which had the Sony mentality, at it's own expense. Apple was greedy and has been paying the price ever since.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
H. L. Mencken
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#4
OK all yo computer whizes...OK!
Screw Europe. Let them eat cake. lol

Seriously, microsoft, cut off all support for a month and let the people lynch their own so called leaders. lol
Bean
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#5
My solution would be for Microsoft to just quit servicing the Euros. Just pull out of Europe, quit selling to them, and let them make their own way with other programs. It is a shame that things are ending up as they are, but the Euros are a bunch of Damn Collectiivsts, who need to create their own program, like they have managed to do with passenger aircraft. Wink1
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
H. L. Mencken
Reply
#6
Unfortunately,Gates is more a Euro than an American. If there is a casualty to socialism,his empire is a good start.

Of course the entire Euro thing is brainless,but Gates is that type of thinker.
Reply
#7
Palladin Wrote:Unfortunately,Gates is more a Euro than an American. If there is a casualty to socialism,his empire is a good start.

Of course the entire Euro thing is brainless,but Gates is that type of thinker.
-------------------
Bill Gates is a true Socialist.

He takes from the rich and gives to the poor.....

/track_snake
Reply
#8
track_snake Wrote:
Palladin Wrote:Unfortunately,Gates is more a Euro than an American. If there is a casualty to socialism,his empire is a good start.

Of course the entire Euro thing is brainless,but Gates is that type of thinker.
-------------------
Bill Gates is a true Socialist.

He takes from the rich and gives to the poor.....

/track_snake

I thought it was called " Philanthropy", not "socialism". Please tell me where I am wrong here?
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
H. L. Mencken
Reply
#9
John L Wrote:
track_snake Wrote:
Palladin Wrote:Unfortunately,Gates is more a Euro than an American. If there is a casualty to socialism,his empire is a good start.

Of course the entire Euro thing is brainless,but Gates is that type of thinker.
-------------------
Bill Gates is a true Socialist.

He takes from the rich and gives to the poor.....

/track_snake

I thought it was called " Philanthropy", not "socialism". Please tell me where I am wrong here?
-------------------------------------
Isn't 'Philantropy' and 'Socialism' the same thing?

Ask Hugo Chavez if you are not sure.....

/track_snake
Reply
#10
track_snake Wrote:
John L Wrote:
track_snake Wrote:
Palladin Wrote:Unfortunately,Gates is more a Euro than an American. If there is a casualty to socialism,his empire is a good start.

Of course the entire Euro thing is brainless,but Gates is that type of thinker.
-------------------
Bill Gates is a true Socialist.

He takes from the rich and gives to the poor.....

/track_snake

I thought it was called " Philanthropy", not "socialism". Please tell me where I am wrong here?
-------------------------------------
Isn't 'Philantropy' and 'Socialism' the same thing?

Ask Hugo Chavez if you are not sure.....

/track_snake

phi·lan·thro·py (fĭ-lăn'thrə-pē)
-The effort or inclination to increase the well-being of humankind, as by charitable aid or donations.
-Love of humankind in general.
-Something, such as an activity or institution, intended to promote human welfare.

Notice that this is ALWAYS voluntary, and is a personal thing, from an Individual. Socialism is where the State Ownes the means of production in a political/economic entity. The two are entirely different animals, one individual, the other group, and with socialism the means of giving is most likely NOT voluntary.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
H. L. Mencken
Reply
#11
I wonder if the EU would be so much against Microsoft if it was a French company?
Reply
#12
John L Wrote:
track_snake Wrote:
John L Wrote:
track_snake Wrote:
Palladin Wrote:Unfortunately,Gates is more a Euro than an American. If there is a casualty to socialism,his empire is a good start.

Of course the entire Euro thing is brainless,but Gates is that type of thinker.
-------------------
Bill Gates is a true Socialist.

He takes from the rich and gives to the poor.....

/track_snake

I thought it was called " Philanthropy", not "socialism". Please tell me where I am wrong here?
-------------------------------------
Isn't 'Philantropy' and 'Socialism' the same thing?

Ask Hugo Chavez if you are not sure.....

/track_snake

phi·lan·thro·py (fĭ-lăn'thrə-pē)
-The effort or inclination to increase the well-being of humankind, as by charitable aid or donations.
-Love of humankind in general.
-Something, such as an activity or institution, intended to promote human welfare.

Notice that this is ALWAYS voluntary, and is a personal thing, from an Individual. Socialism is where the State Ownes the means of production in a political/economic entity. The two are entirely different animals, one individual, the other group, and with socialism the means of giving is most likely NOT voluntary.
---------------------------------------------------
Well... I advised you to ask Hugo Chavez....

/track_snake
Reply
#13
Quote:I wonder if the EU would be so much against Microsoft if it was a French company?
Seif,
contributed some drivel, I see? Microsoft is a monopoly that contradicts the idea of free markets, and if we feel Microsoft must be punished, we just do it. Any idea who could restrain us? If Microsoft doesn't like to do business in Europe and can't abide by the rules of competition, they are free to leave.
Let's see what other decisions Bruessel made this week...
-There was a Euro 1bln fine for the German THYSSEN/KRUPP and four more European makers of lifts and moving staircases for building an illegal cartell. The five enterprises arranged in advance who would get an order and for what price, the other four bid so high as to not get a particular order.
-the age-old VW law in Germany is coming to an end. The state of Lower Saxony owns a 20% share of VW but has a veto right against the 80%, aim was to avoid any takeover attempts against VW.
-couple of weeks ago, SIEMENS was fined Euro 400m for it's corruption affair.
I remember the most important cases against German enterprises only, but there were a lot against VW-alike cases in several member nations, France amongst them. Bruessel is working hard 24/7 to defend free market economy, American-style collectivism and protectionism are coming to an end.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
Reply
#14
Quote:All I can say is, if someone (open or commercial software) would develop
-- a word processor as good as word 97
-- a spread sheet as good as excel 97
-- drivers for printers, scanners, etc
-- a web browser as good as firefox 2.0
-- a method for compiling windows programs to work on Linux
for Linux, I would change to Linux in a moment.

It sure makes business flow much smoother when I know that, if I create a spreadsheet, the person I am sending it to will be able to view it. That assurance does wonders for modern business.
Reply
#15
Gates is well enough off to tell Europe to buy another brand. He,as I say,is a European at heart so he probably enjoys being humiliated.

Incidentally,Bill's products are quite cheap,so he hardly is Robin Hood.
Reply
#16
Riiiiight Q...youall go ahead and punish Gates ROFL.
Bean
Reply


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