[opendtv] Re: Electric power as a natural monopoly

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2014 01:11:03 +0000

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> Certainly Amazon has been disruptive in the retail sector because
> it has demonstrated the ability to drastically reduce overhead
> relative to brick and mortar stores. There's nothing illegal
> about this!


> What we can say with some degree of credibility, is that
> selling books below cost was a major factor in the demise of
> brick and mortar book stores.

Do you have evidence that they sold books below cost? Thing is, they wouldn't 
have needed to use predatory pricing. They jumped into Internet retailing early 
on, big time, quickly moving *well beyond* just books. An Internet retail 
business that sells products which you don't need to "try on" or otherwise 
handle, before purchase, can't help but pose a threat to old time stores. All 
it took was for people to get comfortable with online shopping.

And really, there's no reason for this diatribe against Amazon. Internet 
distribution, advertizing/customer reviews of other products at the same web 
site, much lower overhead, a nationwide or worldwide clientele, the possibility 
of selling electronic versions of books and music (reducing the need for the 
services of publishers, who are also middlemen, after all), all of these 
factors conspire to make Internet retail very competitive. As long as the 
actual content creator is compensated as he was previously, eliminating 
unnecessary overhead is *totally* fair game.

It's a bit like the conspiracy theory wrt trollies vs the automakers. Hey, EVEN 
IF the automakers didn't deliberately conspire to bring down the trollies, 
there's hardly any doubt that the average joe would have done so anyway. Just 
because private transportation is way more convenient, most of the time, for 
most people, than public transportation. Make cars affordable, and they were 
bound to win.

To me, it stands to reason that the congloms either do now, or soon will, 
extend this Amazon example to their own distribution choices. And why should't 
they? All the conglom needs to see is equal or better returns to himself.

> Yes Apple uses the App store to attract consumers to their hardware.
> Amazon does exactly the same with the Kindle E-readers and their
> proprietary tablets;

Again, this diatribe is totally beside the point, as far as I'm concerned. 
FWIW, I'd much rather see standard-based tablets and e-readers that can injest 
standard documents, e.g. Acrobat format. Acrobat files can be encrypted, if 
that's your concern. If Apple came under extra scrutiny, my bet is they did so 
because of its their overly aggressive vertical integration model. I don't 
ascribe exclusively honorable motives to Apple as you do, Craig.


You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts: