[Haifux] "Windows-Free" laptops in Haifa

Shachar Shemesh shachar at shemesh.biz
Mon Feb 9 12:11:44 MSK 2009

Orr Dunkelman wrote:
> The only reason Microsoft cannot have the benefit of "Buy us or
> else..." is the fact that they control too large portion of the
> market. The moment they will go under 70%, they would be able to
> actually say the above (70% may be country dependent).
There is something more behind the monopoly argument that needs to be 

The core to understanding anti-trust laws is to realize that a monopoly 
can profitably do things that a non-monopoly cannot. Those are the 
things that harm competition, and those are the things that anti-trust 
laws tend to make illegal.

For example, a monopoly can raise prices with no or little change in the 
demand. A non-monopoly, if they raise prices, will see a decline in the 
demand for the product, as customers opt for the cheaper competitors. 
BECAUSE a monopoly can raise prices, they are not allowed to.

Another example. A non-monopoly can bundle products together. They are 
pressured by potential lost revenue from the separate products not to do 
so, coupled with the fact that the bundling itself has limited effect. 
Should a monopoly bundle two products together, especially if one of 
them is non-monopoly, the result for the market is overwhelming. Since 
the monopoly product enjoys a more or less fixed demand, the monopolist 
can combine the price of the bundled product into the monopoly product, 
and not lose revenue. Since a monopoly can do what a non-monopoly 
cannot, it is illegal for it to do so.

Last example. A non-monopoly has a strong incentive to use standard 
protocols. Using standard protocols allows easier switching to the 
product from other standard conforming competing products. A monopoly 
will view, with a good reason, any ease of switch to be an ease of 
switch AWAY from the monopoly product. As such, they will opt to use 
non-standard non-documented protocols, which make any switch more 
difficult. Again, because they couldn't afford to do that as 
non-monopoly, it is (or may be) illegal for them to do so as a monopoly.

In short, anti-trust laws are in place to make monopolies behave as if 
they have competitive pressure, despite the fact they don't.


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