View Full Version : Interest & monopolies
01-24-2002, 09:55 AM
Chuck Ackerman wrote: In the case of cable monopolies, they already have a monopoly Back in 1988 I got fed up with my local cable service, and their cavalier attitude. I went out and bought a 9 foot C-Band Dish for about $1,800 w/installation. I figured on a five year break even point over cable rates. I was wrong. Using my neighbors for comparison, and seeing cable rate increases, I broke even in 3 1/2 years. C-Band is still the best buy for non VHF/UHF programming. Today's prevalence of smaller digital dishes has destroyed cable monopolies. Many cable companies still behave like they are the only game in town, but others are recognizing that there <u>is</u> competition. IMO Competition has improved service all around. Dave
01-24-2002, 12:25 PM
You wrote: <blockquote><tt> > It is about intent and business ethics as much as anything. Sorry, but ethics are not described anywhere in any classic definition of a monopoly. </tt></blockquote> This is apples & oranges again. I have nowhere said or implied that the existence of a monopoly is, in and of itself, a bad thing. Business ethics is the heart of the argument. Barrier to entry is a characteristic of a monopoly. How that barrier is achieved and maintained is important. If Microsoft had achieved and maintained its position without resorting to unethical/illegal tactics, the DOJ would not have boo to say about it. The fact that they did resort to unethical/illegal tactics is so well-established that I won't reiterate it yet still again another time. There's a difference between monopoly and monopoly maintenance.
01-24-2002, 12:26 PM
About conditions: your original argument was conjecture, and it's not a point that can be proven unless it can be tested. The conditions don't exist for such a test.
01-25-2002, 08:55 AM
> Back in 1988 I got fed up with my local cable service, and their cavalier attitude. I went out and bought a 9 foot C-Band Dish for about $1,800 w/installation. I figured on a five year break even point over cable rates. Dave, If you had to do it again, would you go big dish or little dish? Bill
01-25-2002, 04:21 PM
At the time, only big dishes were available, so I guess If I had to do it all over again, it would be from that point in time? Starting today, I would go for a smaller dish, but one with HDTV, and internet capability. The reason for choosing the smaller dish, would be digital capability (I <u>can</u> go digital on C-Band, but I have to get extra boxes); prevalence in the market. I still get a much better deal for C-Band programming than on the smaller dishes. Dave
01-30-2002, 06:42 AM
Robert Dean wrote: Business ethics is the heart of the argument. Of course, there is no law against being unethical. If that were the case 90% of businesses would be up for prosecution. | There's a difference between monopoly and monopoly maintenance. Yes, one must be a monopoly first, eh? chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer.
01-30-2002, 09:44 AM
Robert, | That argument is bunk. In the case of cable monopolies, they already have a monopoly, so you can be sure of what they're doing in their situation (i.e., they don't want to lease their lines, and fight attempts to force them to do it). Actually, the argument is moot in my case. I have two cable companies from which to choose. | The argument is not about barrier to entry. The very _first_ test of a monopoly, in the classic economic theory, is "barrier to entry." The next test is: are there any competitors? And the next is to have the ability to force dramatic, and unreasonable, price increases. A monopoly must possess at least these three traits to be considered a monopoly: High entry barrier, NO competition, and the ability to force unreasonable price increases. If there is one competitor it's called a duopoly, if there are more than two competitors then it's a oligopoly. Again a duopoly or oligopoly must also possess high entry barriers and the ability to force unreasonable price increases. Oligopolies seldom succeed. OPEC is a good example. They will vow to raise prices then one of the members won't cooperate, thus they all must lower prices to compete. | It is about intent and business ethics as much as anything. Sorry, but ethics are not described anywhere in any classic definition of a monopoly. If ethics were used a basis then we could easily say that Oracle is a monopoly which, of course, it isn't. Monopolies can exist without any problem with ethics. The local water company where I live is a good example. They are a privately owned monopoly but have never tried to gouge the customer. They take a low profile and make sure that they're doing their job. Granted, they're controlled by the government like most infrastructure monopolies are, but they've never tried to abuse their monopoly status. Just an example how ethics don't play role in the definition of a monopoly. |FWIW, Soltis said in an interview once that he wouldn't mind seeing an iSeries where you could choose Oracle or DB2, or even run Windows in an LPAR the same way you can run Linux. Soltis says a lot of things publicly. IBM does very few of them. Remember when the AS/400 was going to run OS/2, Windows and OS/400 side by side on the AS/400 hardware? That was Soltis' idea. Did it ever happen? Not a chance. I once went to an executive briefing where he said, and I quote, "computing speeds will top out at about 500 mhz." He claimed that the laws of physics would prohibit us from going past that. That's when the fastest PC was running at 100 mhz. Those of us in that meeting blindly believed Soltis knew what he was talking about. Thanks goodness he wasn't involved with NASA! | My argument is that you really can't make the determination until the conditions are present. The conditions are NOT present, so it's perfectly ridiculous to make presumptive judgements. Not sure what you're talking about there. chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer.
01-30-2002, 09:44 AM
There's also a difference between the technical and practical definition of "monopoly." The district court ruled, and the appellate court affirmed, that Microsoft wields monopoly power in the desktop operating system market. I.E., Microsoft is a monopoly. It may technically have competitors, but if those competitors don't matter (and they don't), then they might as well not even exist right now.
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