Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopolistic Competition

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


Google vs Apple; Is there room for both?

James Kwack writes about the face-off between Google and Apple for control of personal computing, in what at first sight is not germane to the usual subject matter of this blog, but bear with me--in the end, it is about competing monopolies based on different technologies and patents and copyrights link here. In the first of a two part blog series, he describes the evolution of the personal computing and in the second he picks up the appearance of cloud computing and its meaning for the competitive battle. The cloud is Google's realm and the personal computer and associated gadgets like the iPod, iPad, etc. are Apple's. Microsoft is the also-ran in this competition since it seems likely to become increasingly irrelevant to the long-run result.

The key to the Apple strategy is to make the Mac and its spun off gadgets as proprietary as possible, so that owners of the cool gadgets must buy the software which however cannot be used on other makers' hardware, producing a lock-in. Google on the other hand has made the operating system increasingly irrelevant on the PC since it has Windows substitutes in Android and Chrome. While its operating systems are open, its monopoly power derives from its dominance over advertising on the web which it can retain as long as it retains its premier standing in Search software.

On the basis of cost to consumers, it would seem preferable for Google to win this test, but not completely, with the Macs retaining some part of the market based on coolness but at higher prices. In the end, it does not seem quickly apparent that government intervention will provide any consumer benefit, since this industry has fundamental aspects of a natural monopoly, giving the two protagonists a hefty advantage over potential competitors. But each must retain its lead by continuing to innovate.


Submit Comment

Blog Post


Email (optional):

Your Humanity:

Prove you are human by retyping the anti-spam code.
For example if the code is unodosthreefour,
type 1234 in the textbox below.

Anti-spam Code



Most Recent Comments

Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime It is one of the finest websites I have stumbled upon. It is not only well developed, but has good

Killing people with patents I'm not really commenting the post, but rather asking if this blog is going to make a comeback

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges Finally got around to looking at the comments, sorry for delay... Replying to Stephan: I'm sorry

Let's See: Pallas, Pan, Patents, Persephone, Perses, Poseidon, Prometheus... Seems like a kinda bizarre proposal to me. We just need to abolish the patent system, not replace

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges I'm a bit confused by this--even if "hired to invent" went away, that would just change the default

Do we need a law? @ Alexander Baker: So basically, if I copy parts of 'Titus Andronicus' to a webpage without

Do we need a law? The issue is whether the crime is punished not who punishes it. If somebody robs our house we do

Do we need a law? 1. Plagiarism most certainly is illegal, it is called "copyright infringement". One very famous

Yet another proof of the inutility of copyright. The 9/11 Commission report cost $15,000,000 to produce, not counting the salaries of the authors.

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,

What's copywritable? Go fish in court. @ Anonymous: You misunderstood my intent. I was actually trying to point out a huge but basic

Rights Violations Aren't the Only Bads I hear that nonsense from pro-IP people all the

Intellectual Property Fosters Corporate Concentration Yeah, I see the discouragement of working on a patented device all the time. Great examples

Music without copyright Hundreds of businessmen are looking for premium quality article distribution services that can be

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Patent Lawyers Who Don't Toe the Line Should Be Punished! Moreover "the single most destructive force to innovation is patents". We'd like to unite with you

Bonfire of the Missalettes!

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? So, if our patent system was "broken," TFP of durable goods should have dropped. Conversely, since