Disruptive innovation is not new and not unique to high-tech. It’s been around for hundreds of years and serves as a key driver of both economic growth and social evolution.
When Google’s proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility was announced in 2011, the business press focused mainly on the extension of Google’s core business from Internet search into hardware. But from a legal perspective, the treatment given the deal by competition authorities in the United States, the EU and China raises intriguing questions about the scope and objectives of merger policy in emerging technology markets.
Although the AT&T/T-Mobile deal has both horizontal and vertical elements, most media and analyst discussion to date has focused on direct competition for wireless subscribers, the classic horizontal concentration question. Regardless of the result there, observers can expect behavioral injunctions, whether by DOJ consent decree or FCC “conditions” to approval, addressing the deal’s vertical factors.
With reality television all the rage, viewers may wonder why there’s been no reality series about the inbred high-tech ecosystem of Silicon Valley. There should be, because the reality of how our technology bastion really competes today — namely by patent litigation and acquisitions — is astonishing.
The battle to beat Google’s Android mobile phone OS is quickly turning into a legal bonanza. But why are three horizontal competitors being allowed to collaborate and cooperate and join hands together, rather than competing against each other?
I do not represent Google. My law firm does not represent Google. Google is not paying me. So Gary Reback, Jeff Chester, John Simpson and others, get your facts straight.
Wrangling over the proposed Google-Yahoo advertising deal makes one wonder whether scale, a virtue in Silicon Valley, can also be a vice. With apologies to economist E.F. Schumacher, big isn’t bad anymore, it’s good.
Psystar claims Apple’s restrictions on third-party hardware makers violate U.S. antitrust laws. Woah, that’s absolutely ridiculous.
Cloud computing is another technology for which the adoption rate may be a decade longer than folks think.
The airline industry charges lower prices today than a decade ago, despite substantial consolidation and massive, billions-per-year operating losses. As a matter of economics, those facts teach that the market is highly competitive. Some antitrust Neanderthals may disagree, but they are reading from a hymnal that no longer has much spiritual resonance.