Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 11th May 2009 08:46 UTC
Intel Microsoft isn't the only company in the technology industry with a monopoly. Its partner in crime, Intel, has often been accused of monopoly abuse as well, and is currently under scrutiny by the same European Commission who fined Microsoft. Sources have told eWeek (which generally has a good track record) that Intel will indeed be found guilty this week of abusing its monopoly position to stifle the competition.
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Other Impacts
by lfeagan on Mon 11th May 2009 20:51 UTC
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I think there is another area to consider when evaluating the impact a majority holder of a component of an ecosystem (market) can have. Specifically, the consequences spread further in the ecosystem than simply to direct competitors. When Intel gives price breaks to system integrators (HP, Dell, NEC, etc), there is no requirement of uniformity (roughly equivalent to "fairness") of the offers extended to various organizations. This allows Intel to not only directly affect the outcome of decisions made by buyers (system integrators) today, but also, indirectly, their actions may alter which companies become the market share leaders of tomorrow.

To use an analogy, by extending non-uniform incentives to various integrators Intel is able to, in effect, have a better chance of knowing which horse will win at the race-track tomorrow. This is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy (though not quite). And it can lead to a vicious cycle of those who are powerful in one area helping partners to become powerful in another area, and then using the increased influence in those other areas to increase the power of the first.

That this sounds similar to the type of tactics used by the mafioso and politicians is no mistake. It does not make it right. It is simply how the game is played.

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