Winners, Losers & Microsoft: Competition and Antitrust in High Technology

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9780945999843: Winners, Losers & Microsoft: Competition and Antitrust in High Technology
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Few issues in high technology are as divisive as the current debate over competition, innovation, and antitrust. Analyzing famous examples of economic "lock-in" by dominant corporations of supposedly inferior products, this book makes the case that free markets in high technology industry deliver better products to consumers, at lower prices, without government intervention. This publication's careful scholarship, well-founded hypotheses, and refutations of previously accepted theories--extending far beyond the Microsoft case--make this publication a vital piece of understanding for the future of technology and economics.

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In Winners, Losers and Microsoft, two top economists punch some big holes in the government's antitrust case against the software behemoth. Stan J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis argue that government lawyers are wrong to say that consumers are being forced to accept inferior standards and high prices because of Microsoft's hegemony.

With some well-documented and original research, the authors conclude that Microsoft is as successful as it is for a simple reason: good products win. "Whether they are lowly mousetraps or high-tech networks, better products prevail in the marketplace. People choose what they want, and what they want survives, at least for a while", they write. The authors also challenge the economists who believe that when it comes to technology, inferior standards get locked in because of unfair corporate actions or irrational consumer behaviour. Through cogent analysis, Liebowitz and Margolis tear apart the two key examples used by these other economists: the VHS videocassette format and the so-called QWERTY typewriter keyboard layout. The authors argue that those formats dominate today because they truly were as good as, if not better than, their competitors, the Beta videocassette and Dvorak keyboard. While most of the book is theoretical and aimed toward those interested in public policy and economics, Winners, Losers and Microsoft can also be an eye-opener for anyone who wants to learn more about the antitrust case against the company. --Dan Ring, Amazon.com

Review:

“Powerful stuff, Winners, Losers & Microsoft promises to have an important impact on the debate about the appropriate use of antitrust in high-technology markets. It does indeed exhibit a very high caliber of scholarship, addresses the key questions posed by the proponents of anti-competitive 'lock-in,' and bases its conclusions on a wealth of new empirical evidence.” —William F. Shughart II, Barnard Distinguished Professor of Economics, University of Mississippi

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9780945999805: Winners, Losers and Microsoft: Competition and Antitrust in High Technology (Independent Studies in Political Economy)

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