Life in the Anti-Trust World

Today Apple Computer won the class-action anti-trust case filed against them.  The plaintiffs were seeking a billion dollars in damages (after tripling) for a DRM system (Fairplay) that does not exist any more used on a device (the iPod) that Apple has pretty much phased out.  These products were such a threat to the survival of competitors that they don't even exist any more.  This is not atypical of how anti-trust often plays out in the marketplace, particularly in the technology sphere.  Any day now I will be filing my lawsuit against Commodore for suppressing competition in the home computer market.


  1. marque2:

    How did Commodore suppress competition in the home computer market? Blocking your competitors from your device is questionable - I don't recall Commodore not allowing others software on their product. I also don't recall them doing anything to stop Apple, Tandy, Atari, Zinclair, or IBM from being in the market that didn't involve normal competition.

    Questionable post, definitely a poor example.

  2. Matthew Slyfield:

    The Apple I-Pod isn't any better of an example.

  3. marque2:

    At least according to this court and jury. Microsoft was dinged for restraint of trade for doing less.

  4. Don A:

    Umm, Sheldon, that is an example of "sarcasm".

  5. marque2:

    It really is an example of idiocy, rather than sarcasm. Commadore did nothing,and there is no question about it. Apple really did block competitors from their device. Even though this court determined Apple isn't monetarily liable, they did take direct action against competitors.

  6. Matthew Slyfield:

    The Microsoft case was the worst abuse of anti-trust law ever.

  7. Mole1:

    So what? How many man-years of human effort and ingenuity were wasted litigating something that the market fixed by itself?

  8. NL7:

    The point is that 2014 is a poor time to allege that a company is blocking its competitors - and only government intervention can correct the market - three decades after the company's peak and two decades after it declares bankruptcy.

    Antitrust is not supposed to be about justice or fairness, it's supposed to be a mechanism to improve the market. Without the law, the argument goes, some inordinately powerful companies will engage in various monopolistic practices that the market alone is unlikely to ever correct. It doesn't make much sense to apply antitrust retroactively to long-dead business lines because it means that antitrust law was not necessary to stop the behavior.