Antitrust is a scurvy dog

Avast, government scalliwags are blind as me 25 year ol' pup when it comes to spying land on the antitrust seas. If government scoundrels showed two pence worth of good sense, I'd be wining and dining them in the captain's stateroom rather than keelhauling those bilge rats the length of my good pirate ship.

Avast, government scalliwags are blind as me 25 year ol' pup when it comes to spying land on the antitrust seas. If government scoundrels showed two pence worth of good sense, I'd be wining and dining them in the captain's stateroom rather than keelhauling those bilge rats the length of my good pirate ship.

Consider wireless service in the American colonies. Name me one good reason for wireless companies to lock you below deck for one to two year stretches, with service extension penalties aplenty for those scurrilous knaves who dare ask for mild changes in their terms of service. Why, it's enough to make me want to go back to communication by way of lanterns and flags.

The solution seems so obvious that even grog-addled henchman without a bite to eat for a fortnight can see it. Hang those policies high from the foremast! What good purpose exists for telecommunications companies to treat customers like galley slaves? Stop them from locking competition in manacles.

Regulators seem intent on designing spanish galleons when all they need is a good strong clipper ship. Why mount attacks with cutlass-bearing barristers when sneaking in the back door would get you your gold just as quick? Methinks the problem with antitrust is not one of concept, but preventing the raiding party's enthusiasm for pillage and destruction from causing them to run amok on enemy decks.

There's no need to chop down the coconut tree when you can send a crewmember up to retrieve the loot. Targeted antitrust enforcement is more efficient and leaves more time for brawling and brigrandry on the high seas.


If none of that made any sense, note that today is International "Talk like a Pirate" day (ITLAPD, for those in the know), so it's a temporary affliction. It always astounds me, though, that antitrust regulators seem so eager to prescribe market surgery to fix the problem of market dominance, yet let companies like Verizon Wireless (among others) force people into a two-year commitment because of mild changes in contract.

There seems so much low-hanging fruit antitrust regulators could grab if they chose. Instead of fixing a dented fender, however, they think it is necessary (and that they are qualified) to redesign the entire car.

Sorry, got ahead of myself a bit. That analogy is for next week's "talk like an auto mechanic" (TLAAM) day.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All