14th September 2007 - 05:45 PM
It is no surprise Microsoft has emerged esentially unscathed. They simply pass on the court costs and legal fees to us, the consumer. So long as they have the industry essentially locked down in monopolistic practices, there is no way to effectively chastise them. The only end to all this is working out the "cumshaw" between Microsoft and the gov"t... that is, how much of a cut Uncle Sugar gets. And, I suspect, this was the sole purpose of the excersize. Uncle Sam gets jealous when a corporation starts weilding more power than the gov"t has. Makes it hard to keep a handle on them...
15th September 2007 - 06:48 PM
Although I'm almost as a rule a free-market kind of guy, and you'll catch me defending large companies from certain lawsuits, I admit monopolies and trusts (in important industries--not luxury or entertainment) are the one skeleton in capitalism's closet. But as long as that skeleton is handled with an iron fist (wooden stake?), free market is the way to go.
So the stockholders should be asked how splitting the company might stifle innovation or be notably unfair to any group, including the stockholders. I doubt they could come up with a good answer. For example, how can adding competition (splitting the company) make a stockholder think the quality of the product, and thus the value of his stock, would notably decrease in the long run?
Small splits could be done over time. The stockholders should know the value of each break-off, and force the stock price accordingly.