Thursday, March 8, 2012

What Is This Nose Doing Up In My Business?

Well, that nose belongs to the .gov, so suck it up, buttercup. At least, that's the .gov take on it, anyway. They have the Department of Justice. You don't.

An article at caught my attention this morning, as much for the company involved as for the government intrusion. Seems the DOJ is threatening to go after Apple and a few publishers (anyone remember the name Macmillan on any of your school books?) citing antitrust issues. So I started reading. Looks like there's an easy spot for the DOJ to make their move:

In an interview with biographer Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs explained how Apple and the publishers implemented the agency model, and how the publishers expanded it to Amazon:

We told the publishers, “We’ll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want anyway…” They went to Amazon and said, “You’re going to sign an agency contract or we’re not going to give you the books.”

It’s a fine point, but what any lawsuit would turn on whether the five publishers worked together to coordinate their negotiations with both Apple and Amazon. That’s the standard for collusion; that’s what raises genuine antitrust concerns.

So, let me get this straight. A private business gets with another private business (or two) and makes an agreement. Then those businesses go to another private business and make a sales pitch that is, shockingly, in favor of the pitcher.

The fed proceeds to lose its fucking marbles over it, and threatens to sue.

And you wonder why there's unemployment? In large part because businesses can't be left the fuck alone long enough to make a buck. New businesses are screaming Not No, But Hell No. No one's investing, and no new jobs are being created. Other jobs are being closed up. It's better to sit on the money you have when the alternative is having it taken from you at gunpoint.

I wouldn't open a business in this country right now if you gave me the money free of charge. My desire to keep it and make more of it might get me in trouble with the law, you see.


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