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December 16, 2013
The oral presentations of the objectors at the fairness hearing were afflicted by needless hyperbole. One of the merchant association principals who participated in the settlement discussions and initially agreed to its terms argued that the members of his association would be worse off if I approved the proposed settlement than they would be if they proceeded all the way through trial and lost. Another likened the prospect of approval to the deprivation of civil liberties in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, warning that only a “slippery slope” would separate an order binding a large retailer to the proposed settlement and the government stripping us of our houses and civil rights. A third cast Visa and MasterCard as modern-day Nazis, and warned me not to assume the role of Neville Chamberlain.
U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson, in a recent opinion discussing the level of vitriol against a long-in-the-works $5.7 billion settlement with Visa and Mastercard. So yeah, not really taking this hard at all.
14:31 // 4 months ago
July 17, 2012
15:58 // 1 year ago
April 19, 2012

Did big tech companies prevent workers from switching jobs?

That’s what a new antitrust case alleges: Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar find themselves facing a new antitrust lawsuit in California. The accusations come from five software engineers, who allege that the companies conspired to stifle pay and job mobility in an effort to cut costs. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected the companies’ request to dismiss the suit, saying,” The fact that all six identical bilateral agreements were reached in secrecy among seven defendants in a span of two years suggests that these agreements resulted from collusion, and not from coincidence.” source

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14:56 // 2 years ago
January 27, 2012
12:19 // 2 years ago
January 10, 2012
21:36 // 2 years ago
November 27, 2011
20:48 // 2 years ago
November 21, 2011
Bill Gates to testify in antitrust lawsuit today: You may be too young to remember this, but in the early 1990s, Wordperfect was the word processor of choice for millions of people — a major player in the pre-Windows era. But around the time of Windows 95, the owner of Wordperfect at the time, Novell, had an opportunity to bundle the word processor with copies of the forthcoming operating system, but then Microsoft pulled support over what they claimed were crash-related issues. As a result, nobody uses Wordperfect anymore, Word is the 900-pound gorilla, and Novell lost a crapload of money. And 16 years later, Bill Gates has to testify in front of a federal court. Sounds like a fun day already.

Bill Gates to testify in antitrust lawsuit today: You may be too young to remember this, but in the early 1990s, Wordperfect was the word processor of choice for millions of people — a major player in the pre-Windows era. But around the time of Windows 95, the owner of Wordperfect at the time, Novell, had an opportunity to bundle the word processor with copies of the forthcoming operating system, but then Microsoft pulled support over what they claimed were crash-related issues. As a result, nobody uses Wordperfect anymore, Word is the 900-pound gorilla, and Novell lost a crapload of money. And 16 years later, Bill Gates has to testify in front of a federal court. Sounds like a fun day already.

10:56 // 2 years ago
October 1, 2011
15:35 // 2 years ago
May 12, 2011

Did the Justice Department hinder Microsoft? No. Outside forces did.

  • 93.9% Windows’ share of the desktop operating system market in 2002, after an antitrust settlement with the Justice Department
  • 91.1% Windows’ share of the desktop market today … as the Justice Department’s oversight ends; it’s like nothing actually changed source

» Then again, a lot has: The computer industry has evolved away from Microsoft’s model while still remaining tightly attached to it. With the growth of tablets and mobile phones (two markets where Microsoft simply struggles to stay afloat), and the evolution of open-source and Web apps into methods that get around Microsoft’s dominance, in many ways the company is weaker, even if we mostly still use Windows, even though OSX is probably better. Also, we think Google’s Chromebooks could chip into Microsoft’s market share in short order. None of these things are the Justice Department’s doing, though. The tech industry, instead, worked around Microsoft.

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10:32 // 2 years ago
March 20, 2011

AT&T’s T-Mobile buyout: Infrastructure, antitrust concerns at play

  • 35 million subscribers on T-Mobile’s current wireless setup
  • 100M number of subscribers Verizon has, buoyed by a large infrastructure that nobody can touch
  • 95M number of subscribers AT&T has — if the merger goes through, they’ll top Verizon
  • 40M number of subscribers Sprint has; they were also having merger talks with T-Mobile source

» It’s all about infrastructure: AT&T is trying hard to play catch-up with Verizon, which not only has more customers and bandwidth, but also now has the iPhone. The bummer for T-Mobile users is that AT&T’s monthly rates are far higher than T-Mobile’s, which as you might guess has people worried. While T-Mobile has tried to get ahead of talk like this, the concerns are enough that many analysts are warning that the deal won’t go through.

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21:30 // 3 years ago