Would You Like Some Monopoly With That?
Some people had really rejoiced when DOJ started the antitrust lawsuit on Microsoft. I thought it was lame - for people who can’t beat Microsoft in any other way. To me it was like suing Mc Donald’s because they are selling their burgers with their own buns instead of giving their customers an option to choose buns from different vendors. Monopolies are the inevitable children of capitalism but they have been declared illegal. In non-software world, people are less sensitive to this legality issues however. Take this: Loews theaters have put a new rule: If customers wants to see movies in their cinema halls, they must throw away the water bottles they are bringing and buy exactly the same bottle from their own stores inside. The employees are specifically instructed to keep an eye to observe this rule and literally force them to throw it away. As you might have guessed, the bottles available at their store are twice in price as everything else they sell. And as you might also know, entire movie theater business works on monopolies, i.e., if Loews is showing some movie, any other theater in the same region cannot show the same movie. None has yet cared about giving customers a choice for cinema halls. I saw people in line wanting to see movie willingly threw away their bottles without giving a thought. This is not the only example. Cable companies work the same way and so many others. I still think this a natural evoluation of free markets.