Monday, August 27, 2007

Ed Felten, from Freedom to Tinker, on the iphone unlocking issue:
I’ll grant that AT&T would prefer that you buy their service. Exxon would prefer that you be required to buy gasoline from them, but the government (rightly) doesn’t try to stop you from filling up elsewhere. The question is not what benefits AT&T or Exxon, but what benefits society as a whole. And the strong presumption is that letting the free market operate — letting customers decide which product to buy — is the best and most efficient policy. Absent some compelling argument that iPhone lock-in is actually necessary for the market to operate efficiently, government should let customers choose their cell operator. Indeed, government policy already tries to foster choice of carriers, for example by requiring phone number portability.

1 comment:

  1. This country has a love-hate relationship with capitalism.

    We love "business"; the idea of squeezing out the competition, and grabbing market share. That is, when we're the ones on the receiving end of the spoils.

    All the way back to the Dutch East India Company, capitalism has been the American way, and it's unpatriotic to even *consider* an alternative economy.

    But when capitalism does what it does best, eating up everything for the sake of profit, we cry, "That's not fair!" But, like an organism, it's only doing what it needs to do to survive.

    Yet we seem to only criticize individual acts and laws here and there, never looking at the overall driving forces at play.