Re: cr> re3: QUESTION of open net survival


Arun Mehta

I said:
> >If one takes a look at monopolies of the past, there was a
> >natural scarcity, unequal distribution (like diamonds), few produce
> >or something in that line. In telecom, there is no such basis for a
> >monopoly.

To which Richard replied:
> There are monopolies that don't have anything to do with natural
> scarcity, and they arise from gaining control of distribution
> channels.  That's what happens with movie distribution, for
> example, when you get mega chains of multi-screen theaters.  It's
> happening more with food, wine, and other goods as you get mega
> importers and mega retail chains.  Big operators can out-bid
> independents in obtaining product (due to volume), and can
> undersell them in the marketplace, due to product exclusives and/or
> volume discounting.  This kind of distribution-monopoly is what the
> Reform Act enables in cyberspace.

If there is an economy of scale in size, and if to the consumer it makes 
no difference who delivers my russian vodka, then I can see how this 
happens. Important, though, is that the consumer sees no difference.
However, here too, there is a basis for the monopoly. Few movie 
producers, what have you. 

In the case of information on the internet, the producers of information
are many. The monopolists will only want to *keep* a few. That would mean 
a fundamental change in the quality and quantity of information on the 
net, which would be unacceptable to us consumers. It is as if all your 
local supermarket chains get bought over, and they decide that henceforth 
there will be no more Chinese or Italian foods. Wouldn't work. We already 
have the limited sources of information on TV, people come to the 
Internet because it's different.

Re: key escrow, what do the others feel? Is that going to come back soon, 
and will US industry buy it?