Monopoly / Price Fixing / Exclusivity / Anti-Trust
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Jun 27, 2016 Dear Landlord: Don’t Rip Me Off When it Comes To Internet Access When building owners get kickbacks from big providers it’s the tenants who lose
QUOTE: Water and heat are regulated utilities. But when it comes to Internet access, people in apartments (called Multiple Dwelling Units, or MDUs) often have the worst of both worlds: all the limitations of a utility framework — no competition, no choices — with zero protections for consumers. That means unconstrained pricing. Network operators like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T, in cahoots with developers and landlords, routinely use a breathtaking array of kickbacks, lawyerly games of Twister, blunt threats, and downright illegal activities to lock up buildings in exclusive arrangements.
Backchannel Jun 07, 2014 Book wars: A monopolist vs. the cartel
QUOTE: The publishers are more than a little disingenuous in conflating their own interests with those of authors, readers and booksellers. And Amazon might want to consider that its admirable campaign to lower book prices may have reached a point of diminishing return, with the risk that further cuts really will have an adverse effect on consumer choice and the quality of what is published. Rather than using readers and writers as hostages in their ongoing battle over discounts, commissions and co-op fees, both sides might better use their ingenuity to come up with a simpler and more rational structure for the industry’s economics that is better able to adapt to changing technology and market realities.
Washington Post May 24, 2014 Amazon's Tactics Confirm Its Critics' Worst Suspicions
QUOTE: This week, as part of a contract dispute with the publisher Hachette, we're seeing Amazon behaving at its worst. The company's willingness to nakedly flex its anticompetitive muscle gives new cause for concern to anyone who cares about books...
New York Times Dec 02, 2013 As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500
QUOTE: A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries...Rising costs of drugs, medical equipment and other services, and fees from layers of middlemen, play a significant role in escalating hospital bills, of course. But just as important is that mergers and consolidation have resulted in a couple of hospital chains — like Partners in Boston, or Banner in Phoenix — dominating many parts of the country...
New York Times Jul 30, 2013 Now That It’s in the Broadband Game, Google Flip-Flops on Network Neutrality
QUOTE: In a dramatic about-face on a key internet issue yesterday, Google told the FCC that the network neutrality rules Google once championed don’t give citizens the right to run servers on their home broadband connections, and that the Google Fiber network is perfectly within its rights to prohibit customers from attaching the legal devices of their choice to its network....So in Google’s version of net neutrality, the FCC was the right to force Apple to let iPhone users connect to their home servers, but the FCC has no right to force Google to let its broadband subscribers run a home server.
Wired Jul 04, 2013 As Competition Wanes, Amazon Cuts Back Discounts
QUOTE: with Borders dead, Barnes & Noble struggling and independent booksellers greatly diminished, for many consumers there is simply no other way to get many books than through Amazon. And for some books, Amazon is, in effect, beginning to raise prices.
New York Times Jan 03, 2013 Was The FTC Too Easy On Google? Too Hard? FTC will not take action on search practices
QUOTE: the FTC finally made an announcement regarding its investigation of Google for alleged anticompetitive conduct. The investigation is now closed. The Commission will not be pursing antitrust litigation, and Google escaped without fines, and will make some minor voluntary changes regarding its search business.... Google has agreed to change some of the business practices to resolve the FTC’s concerns including those related to patents and what the FTC alls its “misuse of patent protection to prevent competition.”
WebProNews Jul 05, 2012 Chesapeake Energy Cheat Sheet: What’s Been Uncovered So Far
QUOTE: Reuters took aim at [Chesapeake]’s flamboyant chief executive, Aubrey McClendon, in a series of articles, prompting his ouster as company chairman (he remains CEO) last month...The company was rocked anew last week when the news agency disclosed a series of email exchanges in which McClendon and other Chesapeake executives appeared to collude with officials at EnCana Corp., Canada’s largest natural gas company, to suppress the price of land leases in Michigan.
ProPublica Mar 28, 2012 News Corp in fresh storm
QUOTE: The emails, said to be from the hard drive of a former head of security at NDS, a former News Corp subsidiary, appear to show that the company paid computer hackers to work with its "operational security" unit....The Australian Financial Review claimed that NDS's activities in Australia in 1999 caused millions of dollars of damage to Mr Murdoch's rivals in the country's nascent pay-TV market. The business models of Austar, Optus and Foxtel were all damaged by a wave of high-tech piracy at that time.
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 11, 2012 How Cheap Should Books Be?
QUOTE: A looming lawsuit could solidify Amazon's dominance in the book business. That might be good for readers' wallets, but it also might be bad for readers in the long term. Here 's why.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Jul 11, 2011 Google+: Too many eggs in the Google basket
QUOTE: this isn’t necessarily wrong of Google — it’s just following the law, after all — but it perfectly illustrates a far larger and more pressing issue: Alex lost his Gmail account, his contacts list, and every email he’s ever sent or received, because he updated his Google Profile. These are two services that are only tenuously linked by the Google Taskbar, yet inexorably linked by the Google umbrella.
ExtremeTech May 08, 2011 Suit Opens a Window Into Google
QUOTE: In the smartphone market....“Google has the same problem today that Microsoft had 20 years ago, when Windows started to take off in the personal computer market,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “It needs to maintain the integrity of its technology, and control it.”
New York Times Mar 31, 2011 Antitrust Cry From Microsoft
QUOTE: The litany of particulars in Microsoft’s complaint… includes claims of anticompetitive practices by Google in search, online advertising and smartphone software. But a central theme, Microsoft says, is that Google unfairly hinders the ability of search competitors — and Microsoft’s Bing is almost the only one left — from examining and indexing information that Google controls, like its big video service YouTube.
New York Times Feb 01, 2011 An Apple E-Book Rule Tightens
QUOTE: [Apple will] require app developers that sell e-books outside of their iPad and iPhone apps — through a Web site, for example — to also sell the books inside those apps.
New York Times Dec 14, 2010 Should Google Be Able To Prioritize Its Own Content In Search Results? Don't Users Want Google Results If They're Using Google?
QUOTE: Does Google have the right to place its own content over others' content in its search results?...There has been a great deal of discussion around this in the media recently, and a great deal of complaining from other brands who feel this is anti-competitive, and that Google should be driving traffic to their sites, rather than Google giving the user the content themselves.
WebProNews May 25, 2010 Apple Is Said to Face Inquiry About Online Music
QUOTE: The Justice Department is examining Apple’s tactics in the market for digital music....allegations that Apple used its dominant market position to persuade music labels to refuse to give the online retailer Amazon.com exclusive access to music about to be released.
New York Times May 21, 2010 Sure, It’s Big. But Is That Bad?
QUOTE: “The government is finally onto the notion that they have to start asking questions about Google,” he said. “Google started off saying they were going to treat everything on the Web neutrally. That is the basis on which they secured dominance. And now they’ve changed the rules.”
New York Times May 19, 2010 An Old Chip Cartel Case Is Brought to a Swift End
QUOTE: The European Union fined a group of computer chip makers 331.3 million euros ($409 million) on Wednesday for price fixing in the first use of a new procedure that allows settlement of cartel cases in Europe.
New York Times May 09, 2010 Consumer Watchdog targets Google
QUOTE: Too big to fail turned out to be wrong for banks and other corporations. But don't tell that to Google, which has quickly expanded into making smartphones, mapping streets of the world, streaming videos, connecting friends and selling digital books....Federal regulators have launched a handful of investigations of the Internet behemoth -- which dominates Web search -- to ensure it doesn't unfairly hurt competitors and consumers in its feeding frenzy of online businesses. So far, there hasn't been a full antitrust review of the variety that hobbled Microsoft, AT&T and Standard Oil.
Washington Post Apr 01, 2010 F.T.C. Role Seen in Exit at Amazon
QUOTE: This is the second time in a year that the commission has taken aim at the board-level relationships between Google and its rivals, signaling a more aggressive approach by the agency to antitrust matters.
New York Times Nov 04, 2009 Cuomo Files Federal Antitrust Suit Against Intel
QUOTE: ...New York’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, filed a federal antitrust lawsuit Wednesday against Intel, the world’s largest chip maker.
New York Times Oct 23, 2009 Intel Could Face FTC Complaint
QUOTE: Three of the four commissioners in the Federal Trade Commission are in favor of filing a formal complaint against Intel over anticompetitive behavior...
InternetNews Oct 14, 2009 JPMorgan earnings show ‘too big to fail' banks getting bigger: JPMorgan Chase's surging earnings show that many of the biggest US banks are becoming more powerful. What happens if they get in trouble again?
QUOTE: The question is: How can regulators reduce the risk of another financial crisis should these banks get into trouble again. In other words, if they were too big to fail then, they would seem to be even more so now.
Christian Science Monitor Oct 07, 2009 U.S. Begins Inquiry of I.B.M. in Mainframe Market
QUOTE: The Department of Justice has started a preliminary investigation into whether I.B.M. abused its monopoly position in the market for the mainframe computers...
New York Times Sep 14, 2009 Threat Level Privacy, Crime and Security Online Antitrust Concerns Swirl Around Sale of Diebold Voting Machines
QUOTE: Sen. Charles Schumer asked the Justice Department’s antitrust division on Monday to investigate the recent sale of Diebold’s voting machines division to a competitor, saying the deal raises anti-competitiveness concerns and has “adverse implications on how our country votes.”
Wired Sep 06, 2009 Movie Studios See a Threat in Growth of Redbox
QUOTE: Furious about a potential cannibalization of DVD sales and a broader price devaluation of their product, three studios (20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers and Universal) are refusing to sell DVDs to Redbox [a video rental vending machine company] until at least 28 days after they arrive in stores.
New York Times Sep 04, 2009 Privacy Group Asks to Join Google Book Lawsuit As Deadline Approaches (Epicenter)
Wired Aug 27, 2009 Italian Regulators Investigating Google
QUOTE: Italian competition authorities said Thursday that they were investigating Google, following complaints from publishers that the company was abusing its dominant position on the Internet to deny them a fair share of online advertising revenue.
New York Times Aug 20, 2009 The unkindest cuts: Economics focus
QUOTE: Monopoly explanations now compete with theories that see the same behaviour [Discounting] as helpful to consumers. That has made it harder to sort malign from benign business practices.
Economist Aug 18, 2009 Why AT&T Killed Google Voice: Telecom operators are yesterday's business. It's time for a national data policy that encourages innovation.
QUOTE: AT&T is dragging down the rest of us by overcharging us for voice calls and stifling innovation in a mobile data market critical to the U.S. economy.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Aug 07, 2009 EC criticized for conduct during Intel investigation
QUOTE: Did the European Commission overlook some evidence during its antitrust investigation of Intel that might have influenced the outcome of the decision, which went against the chipmaker?
Ars Technica Jul 31, 2009 Probing The iPhone's Secrets: FCC investigates Apple ban on Google Voice.
QUOTE: Some of the great iPhone mysteries--including the secret terms of any deal between AT&T and Apple to limit what tricks iPhones can perform--could soon be made public, thanks to a series of pointed letters from the Federal Communications Commission.
Forbes Jul 28, 2009 Senator Urges Scrutiny of Ticketmaster Deal
QUOTE: A key lawmaker [Sen. Herb Kohl] on Monday urged more scrutiny by regulators over a proposed merger between concert ticketing giant Ticketmaster and producer Live Nation, saying it presented "serious competition concerns."
Washington Post Jul 16, 2009 A stacked deck: Online gambling in Europe
QUOTE: he European Union’s supposed single market, which the commission polices, is fractured over the issue [on-line gambling].
Economist Jul 15, 2009 Federal Inquiry Looks at Derivatives Data Providers
QUOTE: Federal antitrust officials have opened a broad inquiry into the practices of the companies that serve as clearinghouses for trades of derivative instruments and are looking in particular at whether any companies have improperly used inside information about trades to profit...
New York Times Jul 09, 2009 Europe Is Studying Delays in Access to Generic Drugs
QUOTE: Europe’s antitrust regulator took aim at drug companies in France, Israel, India and the United States on Wednesday after a lengthy inquiry into practices that it claimed kept low-cost medicines from reaching consumers quickly.
New York Times Jul 08, 2009 Google Operating System Raises Apple Antitrust Issues
QUOTE: Regulators at the Federal Trade Commission have been investigating whether Google and Apple are violating antitrust laws by sharing two board members...
New York Times Jul 07, 2009 West Virginia sues Comcast over cable box tying
QUOTE: most service providers push their customers into renting the [cable] box from them, which ensures an additional revenue stream that easily surpasses the volume pricing they pay for it.... But efforts to divorce the service from its receiver may have gotten a big boost last week when the state of West Virginia filed a similar suit, alleging it's an illegal tying of services.
Ars Technica Jul 06, 2009 Epicenter The Business of Tech Justice Department Looking for Unfair Telecom Behavior
QUOTE: The Justice Department is looking into whether nation’s largest telecoms are abusing their market power over the nation’s wireline, internet and wireless networks...
Wired Jun 22, 2009 Is Amazon Taking Over the Book Business?
QUOTE: The Amazonians [amazon.com] are really good at selling books online... But because Amazon is so much better than anybody else at selling books online... it has a lot of power at the negotiating table. All retailers get discounts from their wholesalers, but some publishers think the discounts Amazon asks for are getting too deep. "They're fast approaching the point where we just can't afford to do business with them," says a well-known New York book editor...
Time Magazine Jun 18, 2009 Exclusive Wireless Contracts Examined: Critics Say Deals Stifle Competition
QUOTE: growing debate on whether the practice of locking in cellphones to exclusive contracts with only one carrier has led to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers and stifled competition...
Washington Post Jun 17, 2009 Text-message fees recommended for antitrust scrutiny
QUOTE: Prices [for text messaging] at Verizon, AT & T, Sprint and T-Mobile have risen sharply and around the same time, Sen. Herb Kohl says. Companies deny any collusion.
Los Angeles Times Jun 08, 2009 Paying too much for .com domains? One group blames VeriSign
QUOTE: A group of DNS registrars claims that VeriSign's exclusive contract to manage the .com registry is a product of lobbying, astroturfing, meeting stacking, and legal threats—and it has meant that .com domains cost twice what they otherwise would.
Ars Technica May 28, 2009 Economics focus: What's mine is yours
QUOTE: When should firms be required to share their intellectual property with rivals?
Economist May 28, 2009 Collusion Course: Does today's hush-hush meeting of newspaper executives violate antitrust law?
QUOTE: Antitrust law is complicated, but one principle is very simple: Competitors cannot get together and agree on price or the terms on which they will offer their services to their customers.
Slate Feb 17, 2009 Lawsuit Says Google Was Unfair to Rival Site
QUOTE: TradeComet.com, which operates a site called SourceTool.com, a vertical search engine for those seeking business products and services, accused Google of raising the advertising rates it charged the company after it realized that SourceTool was a potential competitor.
New York Times Jan 01, 2009 The Plot to Kill Google
QUOTE: The company's [Google] growth, ambitions, and politics have made it a target of some of the country's most powerful businesses and interest groups.
Wired Dec 04, 2008 Discounters, Monitors Face Battle on Minimum Pricing
QUOTE: companies scour hundreds of thousands of Web sites daily, looking for retailers offering bargains below the "minimum advertised price," or MAP, set by manufacturers on an array of consumer goods....For discounters, the consequences of not respecting MAP are usually speedy and decisive. If the seller is an authorized dealer of the product in question (which means it is bound to honor a MAP agreement), it gets a notice from the manufacturer or NetEnforcers and typically brings its price into line within hours
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Jul 24, 2008 Traders accused of gaming oil price: Regulators claim firm attempted to 'bang the close' by amassing large positions just before markets closed.
QUOTE: The government charged an oil trading firm Thursday with manipulating oil prices in the first complaint to be announced since the regulators began a new investigation into wrongdoings in the energy markets.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 07, 2008 Telecoms Sue Over High-Speed Links
QUOTE: Telecommunications companies are suing cities around the nation to stop the construction of publicly owned fiber optic systems to bring high-speed Internet, telephone and cable television to communities far from metropolitan centers. Attorneys for cities say the telecommunications suits, whether brought under state law, the Federal Telecommunications Act or other laws, are veiled attempts to stop construction of competing public systems providing an essential utility in the digital age.
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