The Justice Department is going to get Microsoft Corporation, conducting an inquisition that would make a Special Prosecutor blush. The parent company of Windows and DOS software is going to lose, simply because it is against the law to be successful.
If you work for the benefit of consumers, delivering the best product at the lowest price, you have stepped on political toes and will be severely punished. No consumer can be allowed to make decisions for their own welfare; that would fly in the face of big brother's entire justification for control: the elite powers know what is best for you. You are foolish, stupid and uninformed.
The Justice Department has no interest in who consumers chose to reward with their hard-earned money. It harkens only to the call of those producers who fail to satisfy consumers, in order to demonstrate its political power over the free market. The tools it has been granted by politically interested legislators have nothing to do with fraud, misrepresentation, or coercion in the marketplace. Their power is dictated by the totally arbitrary nature of the anti-trust law.
Absolute power depends absolutely on arbitrary law. Prosecutors have made it clear that they will pile on any accusation they can imagine to exercise their arbitrary power. And they will succeed, because the law is sufficiently vague to preclude compliance and ensure conviction. Did Microsoft give away software products to encourage customers to buy their Windows program? How dare they! Did they write software to run on the most popular operating system? Such brazen adoration of consumer demand! Do they actually claim to own the product they've produced? How un-egalitarian! Have they bent their knee to the almighty Department of "We Know Best"? No! Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!
The limericks of the anti-Justice Department are embedded in the arbitrary definitions of some evil-sounding words. Monopoly is a "series of exclusionary acts" which, to their minds, have an evil and pernicious appeal to consumers. The next time you shop for the best product at the lowest price, remember that you are succumbing to "exclusionary acts" against the worst products with the highest price. The next time you accept a free gravy ladle for buying at your favorite food store, you are encouraging the "dumping" of valuable merchandise. When you make that special trip to buy a Titanic video for only $7.99, rather than $29.99, you are facilitating "predatory" pricing. When you seek out that new wonder drug, designed to solve your most personal problems, you are endorsing the "monopolistic" effects of innovative patents. In essence, the law is designed to punish you, the consumer, for making good, wise and profitable choices. Since the laws can't directly punish such selfish customers, it punishes the companies that pander to your whims. You will suffer the consequences of your wisdom! You will be punished!
Decades ago, the nature of monopolies was fairly evident. Certain businesses like Big Oil and Big Rail had special arrangements with multiple levels of government that granted them certain rights and privileges that were forbidden to others. They acted like legal thugs, a mafia endorsed by government that didn't profit, but rather extorted, billions of dollars from consumers. Dollars that lined the pockets of business, after satiating their political cronies. The anti-trust laws were adopted in response to those government abuses of consumers. Today, the laws abuse consumers by taking the cudgel to their material benefactors.
The only way to evade the government trust-busters is to work exclusively for the government. It's true that Microsoft took advantage of Pentagon procurement policies that required IBM and Intel computer components for decades on end. Those businesses can hardly be faulted for responding to the insatiable demands of government acquisition. There is only a small measure of irony in watching the government prosecute those who benefited from government purchasing specifications.
The sole purpose of current anti-trust law is to punish consumers. When any business finds that consumers are perfectly happy with someone else's product, they have only three choices: improve their product, lower their price, or call in the big government guns to prevent consumers from making a free choice. The benefit of the third option is that the big guns can totally destroy a competitor, just for being successful. If that costs consumers a billion dollars and leaves them with an inferior product, tough. That's what consumer-busters do.
William Westmiller is the California Coordinator of the Republican Liberty
Caucus and past candidate for the Republican nomination for (CA - 24th