When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Friday, December 28, 2012

Government, Antitrust, and Cartels

I remember when old "Ma Bell" was broken up--now we are just about back to where we began--

Break Up the Telecom Cartels - NYTimes.com: "SINCE 1974, when the Justice Department sued to break up the Ma Bell phone monopoly, Americans have been told that competition in telecommunications would produce innovation, better service and lower prices. What we’ve witnessed instead is low-quality service and prices that are higher than a truly competitive market would bring. After a brief fling with competition, ownership has reconcentrated into a stodgy duopoly of Bell Twins — AT&T and Verizon. Now, thanks to new government rules, each in effect has become the leader of its own cartel. The AT&T-DirectTV and Verizon-Bright House-Cox-Comcast-TimeWarner behemoths market what are known as “quad plays”: the phone companies sell mobile services jointly with the “triple play” of Internet, telephone and television connections, which are often provided by supposedly competing cable and satellite companies. And because AT&T’s and Verizon’s own land-based services operate mostly in discrete geographic markets, each cartel rules its domain as a near monopoly. . . . "

When I hear that the FTC is enforcing antitrust, I want to puke. Comcast should be the first required to divest of its internet services--and there are many other monopolies now in telecommunications.


The Big Picture

Financial Crisis - The Telegraph

JohnTheCrowd.com | The Sailing Website

Craig Newmark - craigconnects