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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10042/demand-for-antitrust-insufficient/

Demand for Antitrust Insufficient

May 29, 2009 by

Ben Sheffner, writing at Slate, suggests a “secret meeting” — first reported by the Atlantic — of newspaper executives might trigger the wrath of the Justice Department’s antitrust overlords. Allegedly, the barons of no-longer-Big Media were discussing a cartel-type arrangement to start putting content behind pay walls. It’s a silly idea that won’t work, of course, but what’s even sillier is this quote from an antitrust lawyer about why the DOJ might get involved:

“There are a lot of people in the Antitrust Division who don’t have a whole lot on their plates because their merger work has dried up. The staffing is there, and they have the opportunity to go do something.”

It must be nice to work in a “recession-proof” industry like antitrust where a lack of demand doesn’t lead to budget or personnel cuts: If people don’t want your product, just force them to buy more. Some would call that monopolistic behavior, but then again, the DOJ exists to protect us from monopolies. Funny how that works.

{ 4 comments }

Matt C May 29, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Laying off unproductive people might free them up to do something productive, which is totally unaccpetable!

Ohhh Henry May 30, 2009 at 12:19 am

“Allegedly, the barons of no-longer-Big Media were discussing a cartel-type arrangement to start putting content behind pay walls.”

Wouldn’t be a lot easier to put the government in charge of all internet communications so that they can impose a uniform tax on all users and then subsidize all news media who meet um, standards?

No doubt the new Internet Commissar will be looking into this.

David C May 30, 2009 at 10:26 am

LOL, sounds like they have a monopoly that needs to be broken up :)

yoco May 31, 2009 at 9:43 pm

hap

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