better pay attention to holubs listing of folk at D o J

Erik M. Bataller emb at
Tue Nov 11 22:56:11 UTC 1997

One thing to keep in mind is that many folks would argue that anti-trust
criteria are highly dependent on the implications to the consumer, not to
the distributor.  So, with the current M$ hocus pocus, the issue is not
that the distributors had to purchase 95 but rather that it caused direct
consumer implications- system costs were higher (they paid for windows
95), consumer choices may have been unnaturally limited, and one could
potentially argue that Netscape browser costs are higher (because the
distribution channels have been "difficult").  And we also need to
remember that even the browser (word processor mrkt) there aren't
(weren't) nearly 8000 (or whatever the new guesses are) competitors and
the DOJ has been hard pressed to do much about it. Not to say that
anti-trust issues don't apply here... but given the precedence the writing
may be on the wall. 

The issue about regulation is not only an issue for the big folks, I
suspect the little folks would have some trouble with it as well... 

Ho hum.

On Tue, 11 Nov 1997, David Holub wrote:

> So, by way of a topical example, one might point out that the MAEs are
> 'unique interconnection facilities' and that by not adequately
> maintaining/upgrading either their own connectivity at them or maintenance of
> the MAEs for the use of others World Comm. is acting in a manner that limits
> the development of it competitors by forcing the use of private
> interconnection or the purchase of transit. This is a situation directly
> analogous to the control and manipulation of costs and flows in railway
> switching yards during an earlier "industrial" revolution. The behavior of
> the owners and operators of these yards were an integral part of the
> reasoning behind the creation of Anti-Trust Law in the first place. Another
> example is the non-disclosure and unfair application of criteria for
> establishing or maintaining peering between networks. Certainly, there are
> other examples, the bottom line is you may rest assured that the DOJ doesn't
> understand the fundamentals in this business and they need to be educated.
> Thats what lobbyist do and since there is little or no organized
> representation of ISPs as an industry it is important that as individuals we
> make an effort to provide these folks with the clues that they desperately
> need to do their jobs. 
> The chances that the DOJ stops this deal are nill, but the opportunity to
> show them what to look out for from the combined entity in the future is
> large. As another Gordon (Gordon Gecko) pointed out, 'greed is good'. Thus,
> for the share holders of MCI they have the right and the privilege to collect
> the highest price for their shares. However as unrealized as it may seem
> Anti-Trust Law exists to check the unbridled excesses of the marketplace if
> and only if those that are effected assert their rights under these laws.
> keep in mind that MFS, World Comm., MCI etc... have spent and continue to
> spend millions on lobbyists/lawyers at the State and Federal levels. They
> have argued for years that that telecommunications markets need to be
> deregulated/allow for competition because 'the public is better served by a
> competitive marketplace'. Yet if you ask their legal counsel, 'the Internet
> is not telecommunications, its an enhanced service'. Why? Because they don't
> want the same standards that they have lobbied for as Carriers to apply to
> the Internet business while they consolidate their holdings. 
> That is why I feel it is so important to educate these regulatory folks,
> because even at a very minimum it illuminates the hypocrisy within these very
> circles. 
> --david

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