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Sprint-WorldCom merger No-Go

By nuntius in News
Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 11:03:12 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

This NYTimes article covers the basics.

Since MCI and Sprint are respectively the #2 and #3 competitors in the telecommunications industry, the US Justice Department filed a suit to prevent the merger, which was valued at $115 billion. Both US and European officials felt that the merger would have a negative impact on international communications infrastructures.

As of this posting, neither the MCI nor the WorldCom Merger website had any updates on these events. The Sprint site, however had an "disappointed" announcement here which indicates the fight is not yet over.

Other than the general news value, are any trends developing? Is the DOJ expanding its influence over what companies can do, or are big corporations getting greedy? I'm just cautious that some politicians might be looking at the MS breakup case and seeing the potential for similar cases to raise their public esteem.

Its kinda funny, though, where Sprint's press release talks about breaking up an impending "duopoly," meaning of course their competition.


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Sprint-WorldCom merger No-Go | 14 comments (7 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
FTC and DOJ (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by kovacsp on Tue Jun 27, 2000 at 11:07:11 PM EST

They have been blocking mergers since the dawn of time. Nothing new there. In fact, I think every merger has to be reviewed by the FTC for exactly this reason.

People, anti-trust is a good thing. Monopololies are very real and very harmful. If you don't believe me, take some microeconomics. You'll see it clear as day.

The market is not perfect. The government creates all sorts of monopolies, especially in today's information economy with patents and copyrights. Sometimes they have to rightfully intervene to correct major imperfections. If you want to see an end to government regulation, then lets do that and get rid of patent and copyright protection as well.

Get rid of patents and copyright... (none / 0) (#8)
by Commienst on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 05:29:12 AM EST

It would be a seriously bad idea to get rid of patents and copyright. Why would companies research to find new technology if anyone could just take their research and build a product which they could sell for less because they do not have to make up for all the money used to fund research to actually turn in a profit? Copyright and patents are great ideas but the amount of time they last has gotten out of hand. I think patents and copyrights should last only 5 years until they become public domain, more than enough time for people to make a profit off them.

[ Parent ]
Re: Get rid of patents and copyright... (none / 0) (#9)
by hattig on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 06:29:01 AM EST

I think that copyright, currently 75 years, is fair enough - why should other people redistribute my work for free without my permission after 5 years? I read books that are over 5 years old - the author is still entitled to their money, and many authors don't make any money off of a book for 5 years, until other books have been noticed, and people get interested in the authors older books.

Patents, in the tech industry, do last too long. How about 5 years where the company can do anything they like with the technology, followed by 5 years where the company has to license the technology if someone wants to use it, and for a reasonable price?

[ Parent ]

Copyright length (none / 0) (#12)
by Tin-Man on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 01:11:52 PM EST

Doesn't copyright last for 75 years after the author's death?
The future sure isn't what it used to be!
[ Parent ]
Re: Copyright length (none / 0) (#14)
by Arkady on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 02:51:52 PM EST

Oh, it's way worse than that. First off, it's no longer 75 years. Disney managed to buy an extension to that (since the early stuff with The Mouse was about to expire ...). And more importantly, corporations never die. Since the copyright system was established before corporations became so indendant, there wasn't a provision for an "author" which is, legally, immortal.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.

[ Parent ]
Re: Get rid of patents and copyright... (none / 0) (#11)
by kovacsp on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 11:58:36 AM EST

I agree that patents and copyrights have a useful purpose, but if you're argument that the government shouldn't interfere or regulate any market then you've got to realize that patents and copyrights are a form of regulation.

[ Parent ]
Re: Get rid of patents and copyright... (none / 0) (#13)
by um... lucas on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 01:44:53 PM EST

I was on track with you for the 1st half of your reply.

The second half, though. I think that patents and copyrights are good things... They're just too open to abuse. For one, patenting "business systems" should not be allowable, a la Amazons one click ordering. Or perhaps, due to the nature of technology, patents which can be implented in software should be restrained to a MUCH shorter life compared to patents for say, pharmaceuticals.

Copyrights. I just fail to see what the flack is about them. If you don't like copyrights, don't copyright your material... Maybe others will follow. Unlike patents which can block off entire segments of industry for whatever the time limit is, copyrights are only issued for final pieces of work.

If all copyrights expired tomorrow, what would be the net effect? Would people come forward and create new Mickey Mouse movies? Or would they simply take all of Disney's catalog and re-release it for free, or at least for less cost that Disney, the creator of the material, charges?

If abolishment of copyright meant more movies, then perhaps it would be a good thing. But from all the arguments I've read (mostly on /.) it really sounds like the second would occur. Other people profiting from artists, and company's, creations... I trully think that the creator of a work, whatever it is, should be able to (though they can give up the right if they desire) have final say and control over what becomes of their creations.

Where am I wrong in this?

[ Parent ]
Sprint-WorldCom merger No-Go | 14 comments (7 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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