How To Break A Monopoly


We hate monopolies.

People fear ’em and the government works to find and destroy ’em.

They’re bad and they’re evil; scourges  on civilization.

I mostly agree.  I think monopolies would be able to take advantage of markets and prices and demand and supply to benefit themselves without being subject to normal natural checks and balances.

With that said, I do not, do NOT, believe that a monopoly can exits in an open market without the aid of government.

That is government regulation creates and sustains monopolies, not free markets.

Thought experiment:  Think of one single naturally occurring monopoly in the real world.

I can’t think of one; not one.

The most recent two have been Microsoft and now Google.  How ironic is it that those same two corporations would prove my point:

The world’s largest software company is heaving its two-decade old set of applications — including Outlook email, Excel spreadsheets and SharePoint collaboration tools — into an online format so that customers can use them on a variety of devices from wherever they can get an Internet connection.

It wants to push back against Google Inc, which has stolen a small but worrying percentage of its corporate customers with cheaper, web-only alternatives, which remove the need for companies to spend time on installing software or managing servers.

Microsoft.

The massive dominant player in the PC software world is reacting to Google.  A company that offers IT’S version of Office on line for free.

Whatta’ country!

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4 comments
  1. It’s an interesting and concerning topic. Largely, I think you’re right – companies that are “too big” have ample help from government to keep them big which also lets them build an even bigger moat around them to guard against foreign and domestic competitors through legislation, something which in effect negates the market and free enterprise.

    On the other hand, government at times does need to step in. I watched “Hot Coffee” yesterday which is a documentary that attacks tort law and the “Mandatory Arbitration” that is basically forced upon people from the credit card companies and companies like Halliburton/KBR. I’m not totally right-wing enough to believe that the market can effectively police these big companies on its own because when these companies put all their resources forward they start controlling the market and trampling on the rights of consumers at the same time. If you haven’t seen the HBO doc, I recommend it.

    I’m not concerned about “creature comfort”-type monopolies. If Nike produces 99% of the footwear out there I won’t lose much sleep. But the recent financial disaster made the big guys even bigger, and look at how they bullied government on the comp packages re: TARP and how they’re in a position to bully government yet again when we have our second crash of the decade (dollar and debt bubble).

    The real problem is, we as citizens are mostly asleep at the wheel. There should have been much more outrage re: the financial sector, but what are we going to do – move our accounts from BofA to chase?

    • pino said:

      look at how they bullied government on the comp packages re: TARP and how they’re in a position to bully government yet again when we have our second crash of the decade (dollar and debt bubble).

      Whatever else, I am against government intervening in corporations as much as much as private citizens.

  2. dedc79 said:

    Maybe a better place to start then the present day would be the early 20th century when the federal govt set about taking on monopolies that had come to dominate. You also did nothing to explain how the government made google/microsoft into monopolies. What is your evidence of this, and are either really monopolies? Both face serious competition (Microsoft from apple, for example)

    • pino said:

      Maybe a better place to start then the present day would be the early 20th century when the federal govt set about taking on monopolies that had come to dominate.

      For sure a more comprehensive study would be more complete with those early massive corporations. I was mostly pointing out the irony in Google, being investigated for “monopoly like” conditions being the one that forced the last “monopoly” to basically give it’s stuff away for free.

      You also did nothing to explain how the government made google/microsoft into monopolies.

      That’s not my contention. I’m poking fun at the people who DO think Microsquish and Google are monopolies.

      What is your evidence of this, and are either really monopolies? Both face serious competition (Microsoft from apple, for example)

      Totally agree.

      When looking for monopolistic corporations in industry, it’s illustrative to think of an industry and list all the companies that compete. If there is more than 1 on that list, there is no monopoly.

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