Loomio

Monopolies and unfair business practices

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Bady Public Seen by 144

While we all frequently come across stories of unfair business practices around us, some people still demand for such specific stories to be shared explicitly in order for them to believe that it's for real. So let's use this thread to share such stories of unfair business practices on large scales that affect masses. Let's make of use real stories to make people understand why monopolies are harmful to the society.

The following image was share on the [FSCI Matrix room](https://chat.poddery.com/#/room/#fsci:poddery.com) recently which led to a lengthy conversation about unfair business practices and monopolies which is also entirely quoted below.

rovonovo_zoro:

Anand: In Gates' defence, how do you free people who don't understand and want freedom? How many people, even today, are willing to adopt an alternative OS, social network or messaging app? Could they do more? Yes. Do they have to? No.

rovonovo_zoro: The number maynot be in mass but there are some if you surround your advocay with facts and the need for the alternatives people are still there & willing for a change
I used to think like you before but recently I have seen sucess and people starting to switch and changeAnandI appreciate the change. Just don't appreciate singling out people for their billions.rovonovo_zoroIt better than simply sitting and accepting the fate upon yourself after knowing what really happened / happening

Akhil: Anand https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/what-is-a-billionaire
This'd a perspective from someone who is outside FOSS circles about Billionaires in General and gates in particular as an example.

*This's

Anand: Not everyone defines "better" the same way. Otherwise world would already be a better place.

More importantly, his licensing regime effectively required computer makers to pay a fee if they installed a rival operating system. This is from the article. Why did computer maker sign such an agreement? Secondly, wouldn't you safeguard your biz interest first as a business person?

Akhil: Because they didn't know any better that they were pushing a monopoly from the start ?

Because ms had the fist mover advantage among general public and the device makers started supporting ms since they thought it will sell them more devices ?

Only they got to know later that they themselves cannot get out of ms's iron bind without taking less profits ?

And because, as the article itself states, gates was a guy with good business sense more than a tech innovator ?

Anand: So people played by the rules as long as it suited them and now crying foul.

Xbox, Holo lens, windows phone- don't they qualify for innovation?

Akhil: If you read that article, the premise of everything in that article is the rules weren't fair or moral.

Xbox, Holo lens, windows phone- don't they qualify for innovation?

Well, how's a competing game console , or a Nokia acquisition failure or something (holo lens) that they couldn't even push general public to use an innovation ?

I'm not quoting all the, let's say not moral, things he did to get his way. That's true innovation from Hus part.

*his part.

Thing is that I believe he has hintered more than promote innovation because he wanted everything to be controlled by MS alone.KannanAkhilYou can read more about MS acquisitions and their timing. I am leaving now.

Anand: How's it unfair if both parties agree to it?

Well, how's a competing game console , or a Nokia acquisition failure or something (holo lens) that they couldn't even push general public to use an innovation ?

Do or don't, he's doomed either way. Attack him for brilliant success and also for utter failure in the same breath.

Thing is that I believe he has hintered more than promote innovation because he wanted everything to be controlled by MS alone.

His company innovated as much as they could. Let's not apply some arbitrary standards. As a biz owner, he's just a supplier. He exerts no more control then his biz partners and customers allow.

Pirate ‍ Praveen: Anand: even in business there are rules for competition and breaking up of monopolies

They are fined in Europe for anti competitive policies

Though every country around the world have no such strong anti competition laws

Or govt with will to enforce them

Anand:

even in business there are rules for competition and breaking up of monopolies

I've never understood why per se monopolies are bad. Govt. and society are free to make rules and enforce them. But this one seems arbitrary- punishing the winner.After all businesses don't turn into monopolies overnight!!

Pirate ‍ Praveen: Anand: you assume all businesses are ethical

Monopolies are built by killing competition

And you cannot really compete with monopolies

They can give lower prices, even sell at loss just to kill competition and then hike as much as they want when no competition

Anand:

And you cannot really compete with monopolies

Again missing the point - they don't become monopoly overnight. What enables them?

Pirate ‍ Praveen: Anand: unfair business practices, price fixing, bundling

Anand: Pirate ‍ Praveen: So act against that. What if somebody still succeeds after playing by those rules? You'd still attack them simply because they are big?

Pirate ‍ Praveen: Are you acting naive or you never seen unfair business practices?The entire govts are bought by these big businesses

Again are you naive about govts?Are you under the illusion that the govts are really for people?

Anand:

Are you under the illusion that the govts are really for people?

So people should change the govt. They do that - don't they? Why attack biz?

Pirate ‍ Praveen: Anand: you can continue acting naive I'm not interested in such discussions if you can't see the reality. Competition needs rational actors and if you assume all businesses are rational actors and fair continue in your Bible.

Buble

Anand: You can continue to live in your utopia.or dystopia in this case.

Pirate ‍ Praveen: Fine

Who is talking about ideal world here? Let people reading this decide :)

Pirate Bady:

So act against that. What if somebody still succeeds after playing by those rules? You'd still attack them simply because they are big?

does it mean that if there are loopholes or even purposeful negligence in government rules, then the bad players that misuse them shall never be criticised because ultimately it's all about the government?

Anand: If there are loopholes, no rules, how can you blame anyone for misuse?

Pirate Bady:

If there are loopholes, no rules, how can you blame anyone for misuse?

that doesn't justify misuse

especially if it's in a large scale that hinders the overall progress of humanity

Anand: Oh blimey.....now you need to be specific about this big allegation!!!

Pirate Bady: Anand: what happened with cambridge analytica? didn't they claim that all they did was "legal"? they claimed that they played by the rules. so who was at fault? facebook? people? government?

Anand: I knew it was over-generalization. Punish them for that specific case. But to say Facebook made all $71 B from CA alone is taking it too far.

Pirate Bady: and what did facebook had to pay for their mistakes? an apology, whoa!

I knew it was over-generalization. Punish them for that specific case. But to say Facebook made all $71 B from CA alone is taking it too far.

who said FB made $71B from CA? i didn't.

noorul: You guys remind me of Facebook,

Now, let me see, whether I login and bypass ID proofverification😀

Anand: hmm... then to remind you- you were supposed to tell me why monopolies should be broken down Pirate Bady

Pirate Bady: if all of the above arguments are still not enough, i wonder what else will

Anandhmm... then to remind you- you were supposed to tell me why monopolies should be broken down

if you need an answer in one sentence, i'd say "decentralization of power".

Anand: All the above just proves that rule of law is needed. Activists just need a target to blame forgetting that society had an equal role in shaping up monopolies or lack of choices in general.

if you need an answer in one sentence, i'd say "decentralization of power".

I think you should stop equating biz with power structure. I guess people miss that demarcation.People don't have problem with getting cheaper products from Amazon; but then blame Bezos for monopolizing the market.

Pirate Bady:

People don't have problem with getting cheaper products from Amazon; but then blame Bezos for monopolizing the market.

slaves have no problem with getting food and shelter from their masters, but still blaming them for abuse? shameless slaves!

Anand:

slaves have no problem with getting food and shelter from their masters, but still blaming them for abuse? shameless slaves!

Over-generalization. People elect govt. (not biz) for their good - remember.

Pirate Bady:

Not everyone defines "better" the same way. Otherwise world would already be a better place.

if mere existence of proper rules solved all issues, world would already be a better place.

Anand: Not existence, but enforcement alongwith.

Pirate Bady:

Not existence, but enforcement alongwith.

while i agree with the fact that law enforcement could solve many issues, i also wish you acknowledge the fact it alone won't solve all issues when the "power" to exercise those rules doesn't solely lie with the governments but the corporates that fund & influence them with the unparalleled "power" they have over us which again was cultivated using unfair practices.

Anand: "power" they have over us which again was cultivated using unfair practices. - you haven't provided an example yet. You're still not acknowledging that society and people form governments and corporate - not the other way round.

Pirate Bady: Anand: give me time & i shall come with examples you need. but when i specify them, pls be aware that, simply saying 'punish them in that specific case' won't take this discussion anywhere because that'll be going round in circles.

Anand: Not sure if you have realized, I believe in dealing with issues on it's merit - not generalizing it as seems to be happening a lot in public discourse these days.

Pirate Bady: Anand: okay, taking it positively. by the way since this discussion went off-topic here, let's move to #piratesin:diasp.in next time.

Kannan:

Not sure if you have realized, I believe in dealing with issues on it's merit - not generalizing it as seems to be happening a lot in public discourse these days.

if we looked at merits of a stone, we might not have invented knife. if we were happy with unix, there wouldn't be linux, neither gnu softwares, and if we were happy about twitter and facebook, there wouldn't be alternative for people to move to when both do unfair practices.

monopy hurts invention as it hinders competing companies economic feasibility to R&D to find new products or better prodects as they wouldn't get market.

and many companies spending on R&D is better than one company doing it. same when they close the source, it hinders inventions too.

you can check the pantend lists for few famous tech companies and wonder when they will come for common persons use

patent*

and it hurts the user because user has no choice but use their product, user has no voice.

TLDR, it creats a power inbalance, it restricts both economoic growth because of its anti competitive nature and it restricts user because it killer user choice. its simple logic, i dont think people has to go throug entire history to understand that.

also of course you can expect everyone to be fair, but we still check both sides when we use zebra cross.

💁

Anand:

monopy hurts invention as it hinders competing companies economic feasibility to R&D to find new products or better prodects as they wouldn't get market.

That's a post facto argument. Help explain how does it come into existence.

Not sure if you have realized, I believe in dealing with issues on it's merit - not generalizing it as seems to be happening a lot in public discourse these days.

if we looked at merits of a stone, we might not have invented knife. if we were happy with unix, there wouldn't be linux, neither gnu softwares, and if we were happy about twitter and facebook, there wouldn't be alternative for people to move to when both do unfair practices.

Are you a proponent of killing baby Hitler?

Kannan: no, why you are asking?

Anand:

Anand: Not sure if you have realized, I believe in dealing with issues on it's merit - not generalizing it as seems to be happening a lot in public discourse these days.

if we looked at merits of a stone, we might not have invented knife. if we were happy with unix, there wouldn't be linux, neither gnu softwares, and if we were happy about twitter and facebook, there wouldn't be alternative for people to move to when both do unfair practices.

You are totally lost in translation.

Kannan: please do go on

Anand: Dealing an issue on its merit means it would be unwise to kill baby Hitler even if you knew the future. It doesn't preclude considering other options.

Kannan: also can you go through this, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition_law

i mean, it was always there

Dealing an issue on its merit means it would be unwise to kill baby Hitler even if you knew the future. It doesn't preclude considering other options.

i dont know about dealing with merits, i wasn't thinking about the merits when i said i dont want to kill baby hitler, its just my morality. which i think some corporates lack?

i mean, it was always there

if you look at the right side of that wiki page you could see chapters under it, go for it. there is a chapter called barriers to entry, anti competitive practices.

you could say anything, but sometimes you should go through accessible documents in your reach before doing rant over it.

Anand: Anything? I am just asserting punishment should be in proportion for a crime. Not demonizing a person's other achievements. Plus twitter, FB, stone and knife sounds more like a tangential rant!!!

Kannan: i appreciate mark for reaching those heights and same for bill, but the existance of facebook and microsoft is toxic

also if you prefer hitler, he did a great deal to reach those heights aint it? but his policies were not that great.

but i'm not comparing both to hitler tho

Anand: What paradox!!! Who's making it toxic? Don't tell me even in 2019, people don't have a choice!!BTW dealing with baby Hitler is philosophical question to assess whether it's desirable to eliminate the cause even if it has not manifested itself.You know - punishing a person before he has committed a crime.

Kannan:

What paradox!!! Who's making it toxic? Don't tell me even in 2019, people don't have a choice!!

why people are still at facebook after all these scandel n stuff? its not about choice, the monopoly creates a big damn shadow and a big damn dependency for people to migrate to an alternative medium.

scandal*

Anand: What is this rant against monopolies? If people don't want to migrate, is it FB's problem?

Kannan: not saying facebook's problem, i'm saying facebook and existance of monopolies are toxic. and we have laws to protect other companies and customers from it. but we dont have much laws in the social media sector as the growth of social medias were incredibly fast and unexpected.

we need to work on them too

Anand: I'm all for it - make regulations. But don't demonize mere existence till those are in place.

Kannan: i demonize people when a person lack morality, same happens for company

I'm all for it - make regulations. But don't demonize mere existence till those are in place.

yup, we need people to work together for that

Anand: When you're demonizing, by what standards are you moral? Are biz men easy target? Why don't people outrage and get their govts. to enact laws?

Kannan:

When you're demonizing, by what standards are you moral? Are biz men easy target? Why don't people outrage and get their govts. to enact laws?

demonozing meant, i'll say they are bad and they lack morality in public. also regulations are one approach and same time i do campaigns to promote alternatives and telling the issues with institutions under criticism

Anand: Fine by me if you see the world in monochrome.

Kannan: nah, i just want to reduce relying on trusting people. so i'm promoting designs that reduces that relying factor and i tell people that too much relying may not be good.

Anand: That's a message worth spreading 👍️

B

Bady Wed 13 Nov 2019

thanks to Wikipedia, i didn't have to go far to get a detailed list of various allegations against the tech giants with references:

Apart from this a list of corporate scandals in various points of time is also available on Wikipedia.