herewith a few sentences from an AP story:
are likely to examine the deal to see if such dominance would
squeeze out rivals and drive up prices. But several analysts said
they expect the deal to clear that hurdle, because there are
roughly 4,000 other Internet access providers.
``They'll be a formidable competitor with a tremendous amount of
market clout,'' said Rebecca Wetzel, a consultant with TeleChoice
Inc., based in Verona, N.J. ``But there are plenty of other choices
If you are so confident that the Internet regects would-be kings, when
why are you so concerned about the WorldCom/MCI merger?
If I'm not mistaken, that Dave Clark quote is more geared towards
the IETF, not Internet business.
by saying there is nothing to worry about because there are 4,000 other
internet access providers, the analysts betray their abysmal ignorance!!!
I have a very unpleasant feeling that Sidgemore would like to be king of
the internet. And that he likely doesn't know the internet well enough to
realize that it rejects would be kings.
If I were an ISP, I'd pay plenty of attention to David Holubs post of
relevant people at DoJ to who to express your concerns.
I know better but...
Thanks Gordon I'm sure your intent is honorable but let me be more explicit
lest you repackage mine. The DOJ will be interested in anti-competitive
behavior either existing or potential. I was being a bit obtuse when I said
'opinion on the subject'.
So, by way of a topical example, one might point out that the MAEs are
'unique interconnection facilities' and that by not adequately
maintaining/upgrading either their own connectivity at them or maintenance of
the MAEs for the use of others World Comm. is acting in a manner that limits
the development of it competitors by forcing the use of private
interconnection or the purchase of transit. This is a situation directly
analogous to the control and manipulation of costs and flows in railway
switching yards during an earlier "industrial" revolution. The behavior of
the owners and operators of these yards were an integral part of the
reasoning behind the creation of Anti-Trust Law in the first place. Another
example is the non-disclosure and unfair application of criteria for
establishing or maintaining peering between networks. Certainly, there are
other examples, the bottom line is you may rest assured that the DOJ doesn't
understand the fundamentals in this business and they need to be educated.
Thats what lobbyist do and since there is little or no organized
representation of ISPs as an industry it is important that as individuals we
make an effort to provide these folks with the clues that they desperately
need to do their jobs.
The chances that the DOJ stops this deal are nill, but the opportunity to
show them what to look out for from the combined entity in the future is
large. As another Gordon (Gordon Gecko) pointed out, 'greed is good'. Thus,
for the share holders of MCI they have the right and the privilege to collect
the highest price for their shares. However as unrealized as it may seem
Anti-Trust Law exists to check the unbridled excesses of the marketplace if
and only if those that are effected assert their rights under these laws.
keep in mind that MFS, World Comm., MCI etc... have spent and continue to
spend millions on lobbyists/lawyers at the State and Federal levels. They
have argued for years that that telecommunications markets need to be
deregulated/allow for competition because 'the public is better served by a
competitive marketplace'. Yet if you ask their legal counsel, 'the Internet
is not telecommunications, its an enhanced service'. Why? Because they don't
want the same standards that they have lobbied for as Carriers to apply to
the Internet business while they consolidate their holdings.
That is why I feel it is so important to educate these regulatory folks,
because even at a very minimum it illuminates the hypocrisy within these very
One thing to keep in mind is that many folks would argue that anti-trust
criteria are highly dependent on the implications to the consumer, not to
the distributor. So, with the current M$ hocus pocus, the issue is not
that the distributors had to purchase 95 but rather that it caused direct
consumer implications- system costs were higher (they paid for windows
95), consumer choices may have been unnaturally limited, and one could
potentially argue that Netscape browser costs are higher (because the
distribution channels have been "difficult"). And we also need to
remember that even the browser (word processor mrkt) there aren't
(weren't) nearly 8000 (or whatever the new guesses are) competitors and
the DOJ has been hard pressed to do much about it. Not to say that
anti-trust issues don't apply here... but given the precedence the writing
may be on the wall.
The issue about regulation is not only an issue for the big folks, I
suspect the little folks would have some trouble with it as well...