ATTENTION: You are viewing a page formatted for mobile devices; to view the full web page, click HERE.

Main Area and Open Discussion > Living Room

Ridiculous complaint argues free software is a form of predatory pricing

(1/2) > >>

From the "You Just Can't Make This Up" Department comes this story posted over at OSNews:

Microsoft and Nokia protest "price predation" and play at being prey.

Does no-cost software harm consumers? The FairSearch coalition thinks so, at least when it comes to Google: They say Google engages in predatory pricing when it distributes Android – a Linux-based mobile operating system – without charge. Recently, FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) responded in a letter to the European Commission, labeling as "wrong" and "dangerous" FairSearch’s claims, and saying further:

    The predatory pricing theory proposed by FairSearch is plainly unsuitable to describe a market where there is no price, and a product that, being Free Software, can literally be taken by anybody and "forked" ... . There is no "below cost" distribution in Free Software, because the price which market participants set ... in these circumstances is precisely zero.

Groklaw has a good write-up on FSFE’s efforts.

What is the FairSearch coalition? Its complaint against Google describes FairSearch as "an international coalition of 17 specialized search and technology companies." Those companies include Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle, which say they have joined forces to protect competition, transparency and innovation to benefit consumers.

Google has a different take:

    FairSearch claims to represent consumers’ best interests, but it consists of companies who either compete directly with Google or don’t like where their websites appear in Google’s search results. No consumers or consumer groups are members of FairSearch.

The Verge states a similar view:

    Beneath the sheen of do-gooder ideology, FairSearch can be most charitably described as a Google watchdog. It seeks to fan the flames of disapproval where they’ve started organically, originate them where they haven’t, and generally disseminate negativity toward the Google brand. Think of it as a PR firm working to destroy rather than create goodwill.

These anti-FOSS price predation claims might bring to mind another case: Remember Daniel Wallace? He sued Red Hat, IBM, and Novell, claiming the companies conspired via the GPL to hold Linux’s price at zero. Mr. Wallace’s suit was summarily dismissed...

--- End quote ---

Shades of recent history where certain telcos filed lawsuits to prohibit municipalities from providing their own low-cost broadband services to citizens because it would represent "unfair competition" on the part of the government - even though these same telcos declined to provide service to these communities, citing "prohibitive costs" as the reason for their refusal.

Ah Doublethink...close cousin of legalese - it's a wonderful thing! :-\

Stoic Joker:
If I said what I was thinking right now it would probably melt a hole in the internet.

In other news bottled water companies are suing nature for providing an effectively unlimited supply of water via rivers, lakes and streams in an attempt to put them out of business.   ;)

"...There is no "below cost" distribution in Free Software..."

Actually that leaves the door open to a *fascinating* level "below free" - *pay* people to use your software!

After all, since Lock-In is worth trillions over decades, who cares about a measly 1-time incentive fee!?


Renegade recently posted about Bastiat's The Candlemakers' Petition, which was satire. But it is very fitting:

Here's another bit of fun about the sun:

The text:

A snippet from it:

We are suffering from the ruinous competition of a rival who apparently works under conditions so far superior to our own for the production of light that he is flooding the domestic market with it at an incredibly low price; for the moment he appears, our sales cease, all the consumers turn to him, and a branch of French industry whose ramifications are innumerable is all at once reduced to complete stagnation. This rival, which is none other than the sun, is waging war on us so mercilessly we suspect he is being stirred up against us by perfidious Albion (excellent diplomacy nowadays!), particularly because he has for that haughty island a respect that he does not show for us.
--- End quote ---

-Renegade (July 27, 2013, 05:19 AM)
--- End quote ---


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version