After 18 years in operation, after a federal law mandating that hospitals work to prevent needle-stick, and after two successful lawsuits resulting in BD paying more than $400 million for violating anti-monopoly statutes, Retractable Technologies made only $34 million in global sales last year. BD, with an inferior, more expensive product, sold $8.4 billion, the payouts to its competitor serving only as the cost of doing business. In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control estimated 380,000 needle-sticks at hospitals every year. Today, they estimate 385,000. “You turn on the TV and watch politicians talk about unleashing the power of the free market, that’s absurd,” Shaw says. “The American public is being denied a free market, being denied competition.”We need a new antitrust for a new predatory era.
Internet Explorer 6, listed by PC World as the eight worst tech product of all time has finally been inhumed.
Fairsearch (a group led by Microsoft, Oracle and Expedia) has filed a complaint [PDF] with the EU claiming that Google has a monopoly in the mobile market and is using its mobile position to force its other products on users.
Why Is Microsoft Seeking New State Laws That Allow it to Sue Competitors For Piracy by Overseas Suppliers?
Seeking $335,000 in unpaid advertising bills, Google Inc. filed suit against a small Internet site in Ohio in October. The complaint was so routine it was just two sentences long. Last month, the small Internet site countered with a 24-page antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the search-engine giant of a litany of monopolistic abuses. But what really caught Google’s attention was the Internet site’s legal counsel: It was (Cadwalader’s) Charles “Rick” Rule, long the chief outside counsel on competition issues for Google archrival Microsoft Corp." Google faces further scrutiny in Europe where it leads with near 90% of the search market, "While it has always maintained that advertising prices are set by auction, leaving it without any direct influence over pricing, it has faced complaints from a number of companies over its practice of setting minimum bid levels." [more inside]
In Korea, you use Windows and IE, or you're out of luck. MeFi's own Gen Kanai writes about the Microsoft lock-in in South Korea. It is also a monoculture in other ways, of course, but in a country of 48 million where internet usage has risen from 9 million in 1999 to 35 million today, that leads the world in broadband penetration, some lessons for the rest of the world about the dangers of monopoly might be learned.
In the midst of being indignant over the death of the BeOS, Scot Hacker talks about Microsoft's OEM license with hardware vendors. Although Microsoft claims the terms of the agreement are a "trade secret," preventing it from making appearnce in the DOJ circus, apparently it prevents OEMs from installing any non-Microsoft OS along side a Microsoft OS... If true, the "browser integration" thing's just a minor annoyance - this would be monopolistic and anti-competitive... via rc3.org
It looks like the Microsoft vs. DOJ case might be worth paying attention to again, as their settlement talks have ended. "After more than four months, it is apparent that the disagreements among the parties . . . are too deep-seated to be bridged," said mediator, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson will probably issue a verdict any day now.