Hearing #1 On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century - Sept. 13-14 at Georgetown University Law Center
I believe it is time to revisit how the government regulates the computer industry. Given the all-inclusive nature of this industry, the consumers are entitled to less of a monopoly. Look at the wealth and power of Microsoft. Now this same situation is being replicated by Apple Computer. The wealth these companies accumulate is being drawn out of both the general public and business communities, and is counter-productive to overall economic growth. There is a point in time where corporate profits exceed the amount necessary for long term corporate survival and growth, and is simply gouging. Going back to Apple Computer, their secretive nature makes it difficult to properly plan when a business uses their products, and allows them to inflate their retail prices. This is a company that should be broken up and/or forced to allow some of their proprietary software into the public domain. There is no good reason why this company should be allowed to realize the market capitalization it has achieved. Not even the shareholders benefit by this long-term. This industry would benefit the public more if its products had less protections after a certain period of time. Consider the same situation as the drug companies. At a point in time, there are generic versions, and everybody benefits. Would Windows be a better product if it were in the public domain? Probably.