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EU Court Rules Against Exclusive TV Licensing Deal 115

Posted by timothy
from the slightly-less-seekable-rent dept.
First time accepted submitter r5r5 writes "In possibly a ground-breaking rule, European Court of Justice ruled against exclusive rights to broadcast sporting events within a single member state. The motivation is that such an agreement would enable each broadcaster to be granted absolute territorial exclusivity in the area covered by its licence and would therefore eliminate all competition between broadcasters in the field of those services and would thus partition the national markets in accordance with national borders. Could this be the beginning of dismounting the legacy system of exclusive distribution rights awarded to one company in one state?"
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EU Court Rules Against Exclusive TV Licensing Deal

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  • Does this mean that I no longer have to deal with blackouts on local football games?
    • by xSander (1227106)

      Europe != USA

      Though I think these blackouts are set in contracts with the TV networks? This does not apply to blacking out foreign TV networks of course, like Canadian networks showing the same game.

      • You do know that we Europeans call Football to what you call Soccer, right? Why do you assume parent is from the US?

        • by xSander (1227106)

          I'm from Europe. :)

          I assumed parent is from the US because I've never heard of local blackouts in soccer.

          • by jonbryce (703250)

            The 3pm Saturday games in England are not broadcast in the UK, but you can watch them on Greek TV. I guess that is an example of a local blackout.

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      I know you're asking about Football, but I wanted to mention something.

      I work for a cable company, and the reason for blackouts at baseball games is quite often not broadcasting rights arguments but the games being blacked out by the MLB itself to increase attendance of the game, or the team, because if attendance is low they don't want the empty stands shown on television.

    • The Olympics is where I find the exclusivity most annoying. When I lived in the US it really annoyed me that the BBC olympic coverage was blocked and the same is the case now that I live in Canada (although it is less noticeable since the summer olympics has fewer Canadian athletes so they have more international coverage and the winter olympics has very few British athletes so I'm not missing much!).

      Obviously local TV coverage will focus on the local nation's athletes - that's what 90+% of people will w
      • by gmhowell (26755)

        They do it so that NBC and the other US broadcasters can show only events where the US medals, thereby 'proving' our athletic superiority.

        BTW, "For Your Eyes Only" was my favorite Bond movie. And you really got upstaged in "A View to a Kill".

  • Wow. A free market. What's next, sound money?

    • by Zironic (1112127)

      Well, I think you'll find that the extreme economic liberals consider exclusive licensing to be 'free market' since the event organiser should have the right to sell the broadcasting rights in whatever way he wishes.

      • Well, these "exteme economic liberals" might have a point.

        Sports are so broadly popular and such a part of public life and politics that I don't generally think of them as "private" business. But they are privately owned.

        It seems a little unlikely that they'd make more money with exclusive licensing than with open competition, but I guess that's their business.

        • by ackthpt (218170)

          Well, these "exteme economic liberals" might have a point.

          Sports are so broadly popular and such a part of public life and politics that I don't generally think of them as "private" business. But they are privately owned.

          It seems a little unlikely that they'd make more money with exclusive licensing than with open competition, but I guess that's their business.

          OK, I'm lost here - economic liberals? What what?

          The tendency toward monopolies or collusion I mostly associate with conservatives, those in big business where the need to make huge wads of cash trump the rights of the masses. They've corrupted sports to the point the games have modified their schedules and how the game is played (TV time-outs) to best benefit revenue production.

          Exclusive rights to a territory means the broadcaster can charge high advertising rates, stick the viewers with whatever pundits

          • Interestingly, taking liberalism to its logical conclusion, and taking conservatism to its logical conclusion, both can lead to about the same place.

            Try the quiz: http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz [theadvocates.org]

          • by Zironic (1112127)

            No, by definition Liberal means Free and a Liberal is someone that wants to achieve it. You're just confused by the fact that Social Liberals are in opposition to Social Conservatives.

            A Social Liberal is someone that believes that in order for people to be free the government has to guarantee certain rights (Exactly which ones can be debated, but you're probably used to seeing ones like access to education and healthcare).

            An Economic Liberal is someone that believes that in order for people to be free the

          • by Muros (1167213)
            The television station's choice of pundits & commentators is pretty easy to get around. I know of a radio station that encourages their listeners who have Sky Sports to watch the games on it muted, while listening to them on the radio. Many people do.
          • OK, I'm lost here - economic liberals? What what?

            In Europe (and most other parts of the world), "liberal" means "no regulation". So social liberal is someone who wants government to get out of the nation's bedrooms, and economic liberal is someone who wants it to get out of the nation's wallets.

            The whole notion of "liberal == left" or "liberal == !conservative" is, by and large, specific to North America.

            Also see:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_liberalism [wikipedia.org]
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism [wikipedia.org]

            (and no, I'm not a liberal)

      • Not really, it's an equivocal use of the word "free."

        Economic liberals put an emphasis on the free market in the sense of the technical, economic use of the term by economists. They describe markets where any consumer can purchase a good from any supplier. Exclusivity agreements, by their very nature, erode free markets in the economic sense.

        But there are also some political liberals (specifically of the libertarian bent) that put so much emphasis on the freedom of individuals that they believe that individ

        • by Zironic (1112127)

          That's why I called them extremist. Most reasonable people consider a free market a market where well informed consumers can purchase goods in a competitive market.

    • What's next, sound money?

      While certainly an interesting concept, the non-durable nature of sound makes it not very suitable to use as money. :-)

    • by cHiphead (17854)

      LOL. Here come the metanationals, you idiot. There will be on licensed group for the entire EU, and the small time broadcasters will have to pay up to this 'middle man' of a sorts for broadcast rights. Prices will be driven up, advertising prices will be driven up, sports attendance prices will be driven up. God bless the free market (even though there is nothing actually free about it).

    • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @09:24AM (#37749592) Journal

      It sounds good, but the ruling has loopholes you could drive a bus through. Specifically, while the match itself cannot be subject to exclusivity agreements, any copyrighted material (theme tunes and title sequences before the ad breaks, the little logo in the bottom right of the screen, the commentary, etc.) can still be controlled as the copyright holder wishes.

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        Indeed. It's already been said that quick solution is to simply put a copyrighted watermark somewhere in the video. Voila, it's exempt from the ruling.

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        Broadcasters do their own commentary, and they could replace all the other things with their own logos, theme tunes etc.

    • by Angostura (703910)

      Err, actually I think the most likely outcome is sporting rights only being sold to companies who are rich enough to buy the global - or pan-European - rights. That probably means Murdocjh and a few others and it probably means that they will be able to beat the sporting bodies down in price since there will be so few broadcasters able to afford global rights. ... I suppose Eurovision might be able to bid as a cartel.

  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ecirpdrahcir.> on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @08:28AM (#37749050)

    Is to support the legal position that a citizen of an EU member state cannot be restricted from purchasing goods or services from any other member state - this is a rule that has been in position for years, and the FA were trying to have it not applied to their TV rights (as they gain billions from UK tv rights to Sky, which are now massively devalued).

    It doesn't affect purchases of goods and services from outside of the EU.

    Apple underwent a similar issue a few years ago over their iTunes store restrictions within the EU.

    • Is to support the legal position that a citizen of an EU member state cannot be restricted from purchasing goods or services from any other member state - this is a rule that has been in position for years, and the FA were trying to have it not applied to their TV rights (as they gain billions from UK tv rights to Sky, which are now massively devalued).>

      Killing exclusivity would devalue the rights, but you could have effective exclusivity. eg it would not be in the interests of a sporting governing body (or whoever negotiates the TV rights) to sell the same package to two different broadcasters if the income from the two deals was less than the income from a single exclusive partner. So you could negotiate non-exclusive rights with eg a Satellite firm, on the understanding that anybody else that wanted rights would have to buy the same package, effectivel

      • by Richard_at_work (517087) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ecirpdrahcir.> on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @08:43AM (#37749194)

        The case which this ruling is based on is down to Pub and Bar related viewing subscriptions for Sky, which cost venues significant amounts of money in the Uk. This particular venue bought a Greek satellite package for a fraction of the cost - and with this ruling supporting that ability, it basically means that Sky now has lost a significant portion of it's UK revenue because they can legally go elsewhere for the sae service at a fraction of the cost.

        No juggling of rights packages is going to recover that revenue stream, especially as the rights packages are controlled in part by UK monopolies law.

        Just to note, I fully support the ruling.

        • by Inda (580031)
          "Sky now has lost a significant portion of it's UK revenue"

          We'll see about that. It's still early days.

          If Sky plasters it's logos all over the broadcast, the 'distributing copyrighted material' issue will raise it's ugly head.

          I fully support the ruling too.
          • by haystor (102186)

            The thing is, the Greeks have purchased broadcast rights separately. They were restricted to broadcasting in Greece only. Now they can broadcast cheaply purchased games in any country in the EU. This will either mean games will become less available in other countries as the big countries don't want to cannibalize their own market, or there will be a massive revenue hit as everyone picks up a satellite to broadcast games from the least expensive country.

            Btw, this is *not* a free market solution because i

            • Btw, this is *not* a free market solution because it is the government imposing a restriction on what may be agreed upon between consenting parties.

              The whole concept of a ban on unauthorized decryption of satellite transmissions is a government-imposed restriction anyway.

              • All laws of possession are government imposed restrictions, this is no different.

                • by tepples (727027)
                  So where do "laws of possession" end and "breaking the free market" begin?
                  • Who says there needs to be a relationship?

                    • by tepples (727027)
                      The U.S. Constitution mentions both liberty and property. The Fifth Amendment prohibits taking of "life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" by the federal government, and the Fourteenth extends this to the governments of the several states. Plenty of policy decisions hinge on where to draw the line between liberty, or what one may do, and property, or what one has the right with the state's backing to prevent others from doing.
                    • If copyrights and patents are not property, then what does property mean other than a transferable state-backed right to exclude people from doing something specific?
                    • Even so, both are artificial restrictions enforced by the government (or some other higher force). Property right, like copyright, is the right to restrict other people from doing certain things to something for which you are recognized as an owner. In the absence of someone to enforce said restriction, it doesn't exist - at least not without invoking God or some other mythical higher power.

                • by Toonol (1057698)
                  Only if you don't consider property rights as innate human rights. In the US, rights are generally considered as recognized by the government, not granted.
                  • I don't consider any rights as innate or inherent - there in-fact rights we grant each other, however there is no natural right to possession as there is nothing to stop me taking the item other than yourself or those around you willing to stop me.

                    So my position is that there is a difference between a right we grant each other, and a right the government grants us (or recognises the right that we grant each other).

                    Possession law is the first right - its one we grant each other, and one we use the government

            • This will either mean games will become less available in other countries as the big countries don't want to cannibalize their own market, or there will be a massive revenue hit as everyone picks up a satellite to broadcast games from the least expensive country.

              More likely that Greece would no longer be able to afford the broadcast rights or at least not be able to get them as cheaply. With the whole EU open to them, the broadcasters will no longer consider Greece's geographical borders and internal TV mar

            • by mcvos (645701)

              Btw, this is *not* a free market solution because it is the government imposing a restriction on what may be agreed upon between consenting parties.

              That is not a requirement for a free market, and can in fact make a market unfree. Consenting parties can decide to form a cartel or monopoly, for example. What this decision seems to do, is to ban certain restrictions on the market, thereby definitely making this market more free.

              A free market, like any other kind of freedom, requires protection. Or do you think slavery is freedom?

            • Pure free market solutions can lead to pure chaos, where the market is only free for those with the control of the market and shafts the customers because they have no alternative place to go. Government controls provide a set a game rules, that while making the market less free, provides a better solution for those consuming the products of the sellers and forces the those sellers to be more 'fair' in their dealings.

              Think of a free market as a kid who is allowed his freedoms, until he uses them to abuse ot

          • by yacc143 (975862)

            Not really. If they plaster the broadcast via putting advertisements around the football field, it's irrelevant. And the Greek (or whoever) sat provider won't be adding Sky commercials. The only way for Sky to have an exclusive product would be to add some value itself, e.g. having a known and liked moderator.

            Actually, the ruling is not really about exclusivity. It's about cracking down on rights owners that try segment the European market into tiny national segments. The ruling is not surprising, as the co

            • by Inda (580031)
              I didn't mean the hoarding around the pitch.

              There's the logo saying "SKY HD 2" in the top corner, there's their match timer in the other corner and there's the team list scrolled along the bottom within the first 5 minute of each half.

              I cannot believe Sky will take this lying down.
              • by Anonymous Coward

                That's true of the UK stream but not necessarily true of the Greek one, depending on who broadcasts those matches in Greece. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the commentary was in Greek so there may well have been logos of the Greek broadcaster all over the footage rather than Sky's.

              • by Richard_at_work (517087) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ecirpdrahcir.> on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @09:30AM (#37749690)

                That is applied by Sky, not the company that provides the game footage - that is provided unbranded to the rights holders who provide their own commentary, advertising, logos and analysis.

                In this case, the Greek rights holder would not be restricted by Sky at all, because they are not taking their feed.

        • by MojoRilla (591502)

          No juggling of rights packages is going to recover that revenue stream, especially as the rights packages are controlled in part by UK monopolies law.

          I am not so sure. Since Sky can't maintain a monopoly in England, the value of their rights are reduced. They will demand that the soccer league stop selling undervalued rights to the Greek broadcaster, or sell them at a price that equals the English value.

          Ultimately, either the Greek broadcaster looses right to the football matches, or they need to cha

          • Hence my mention of UK monopolies law - the FA are already restricted in what they can sell solely to Sky in the UK, so what do you think the position will be if the FA demand other rights purchasers have to sell to viewers at a set rate?

      • by qpqp (1969898)
        This, and besides, who mentioned that exclusive pan-EU deals are out of the question? The rights are sold to a conglomerate, who then distributes the rights on a network level.
    • by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @08:44AM (#37749212)

      Just to clarify, the reason why this is so important has little to do with individuals buying the sports channels and everything to do with venues that want to show them.

      The UK only has one satellite broadcaster - Sky - and that satellite broadcaster has an exclusive deal with the Football Association for broadcast of UK football matches. Anyone wanting to watch a UK football match on the TV basically has to watch it on Sky. (Those using cable instead of satellite, the cable company pays Sky and pushes the same channel over the cable).

      A normal Sky subscription comes with a contract that states "You're not allowed to use this for a public showing of an event" - pubs are meant to contact Sky to purchase a special subscription that has no such restriction in the contract. That subscription's something like ten times the price of the one sold to domestic customers - and lots of pubs simply don't have the turnover to buy something for ten times the price.

      So a lot of pubs have either bought a domestic subscription and hoped nobody notices - or a subscription from a satellite broadcaster based in continental Europe (who don't charge absurdly expensive prices). Surprise surprise, Sky went ballistic. They had an exclusive license to be the only broadcaster in the UK which this sort of thing undermines; they've been using every bullying tactic in the book to force pubs to buy the UK commercial subscription and now they can't.

      • Just to clarify, there are four major football rights packages in the UK, and sky is limited in what percentage of total games the can buy.

      • by dkf (304284)

        So a lot of pubs have either bought a domestic subscription and hoped nobody notices - or a subscription from a satellite broadcaster based in continental Europe (who don't charge absurdly expensive prices). Surprise surprise, Sky went ballistic. They had an exclusive license to be the only broadcaster in the UK which this sort of thing undermines; they've been using every bullying tactic in the book to force pubs to buy the UK commercial subscription and now they can't.

        The FA have two basic options at this point: they must either persuade satellite broadcasters outside the UK to not sell to the UK market despite the law permitting them to do so, or not sell to them at all. The second option is most certainly permitted, but will cause quite a hit to their income (as UK Premiership soccer is mysteriously very popular) and the first option is going to be a very difficult set of negotiating as the broadcasters in other states will not be willing to give up the right to cross-

      • by Malc (1751)

        The UK only has one satellite broadcaster - Sky

        That's one in addition to the one I subscribe to: Freesat.

        I so wish this would be the beginning of the end of being deprived of our national sports by the Murdoch clan. I'd love to be able to watch the Ashes again for the first time in 20 years. Too bad for the Premier League... maybe they will have to start a home grown training programme instead of buying in the best from the rest of world.

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        Actually ESPN, owned by Disney show some Premier League matches, and all of the Scottish league matches. They have a slot on Sky, on Top-up TV (terrestial pay tv) and Virgin (cable).

      • Please stop assuming that everyone is European, football = SOCCER in this case, as opposed to real football.

        • by mjwalshe (1680392)
          no Soccer is what one country uses to mean Association football as opposed to Rugby Football.
    • Just to supply some more information:

      The EU Treaty establishes four fundamental "internal market freedoms" which are the free movement of goods, services, people, and capital within the EU, without regard to national borders.

      Article 28 of the Treaty affirmatively prohibits "quantitative restrictions" on trade. The court in du Roi (Procureur du Roi v Dassonville (1974)) found a "quantitative restriction" to be anything "capable of hindering, directly or indirectly, actually or potentially, intra-community tr

  • They ruined monopoly!

    Is my 'Get Out of Competition Free' card still valid?

    • by haystor (102186)

      Yes, and it was played in Greece. They had every chance to bid on distribution of FA games in the UK but Sky secured that bid. Instead Greece played the "get out of competition free" card and used their contractually agreed right to broadcast in Greece to broadcast in the UK.

      There is nothing remotely competitive about this. It is a complete undermining of contract law and the very essence of the competitive market.

      • In the end, Greece may have cut off its nose to spite its face. When time to renew the contract comes around, they may not get a discounted price. Thanks to this ruling, the FA games will consider the fact that Greece is now legally able to sell to subscribers anywhere in the EU when negotiating the price of the broadcast rights.
        • by mjwalshe (1680392)
          Yes this means poor countries will be priced out by the rich football fans in the UK, France, Germany Etc
      • I forgot my /humor disclaimer at the bottom. Apologies. I need to keep up on that.

      • by xelah (176252)

        There is nothing remotely competitive about this. It is a complete undermining of contract law and the very essence of the competitive market.

        No, it isn't, because there was never a competitive market to begin with. It isn't possible for football to be a competitive market, and this extends to broadcasts for as long as clubs or their leagues have rights to restrict unauthorized broadcasts of games. It's not possible for it to be competitive because a Liverpool FC fan can't just switch to Everton if he things the prices are too high or the service too poor because they're not substitutes: being an Everton fan comes with a completely different grou

  • It's the smell of money, being counted and placed into neat little stacks, ready to purchase new legislation explicitly allowing exclusive distribution rights for copyrighted material.

    • by mrvan (973822)

      That will not be so easy. Notice that this is not the committee, but the ECJ finding that based on the basic treaties of the Union this is not permissible, like how they said that transfer fees cannot be paid for players who are no longer under contract since that bars free movement of labour. To change this would require a revision of the EU treaties, which is not easy to accomplish. Sometimes, that's a bad thing; sometimes a good thing.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      AIUI that already exists - and indeed it's the legislation they'd been arguing under. But the court held that the game itself isn't a creative work so isn't subject to copyright.

      The title music being broadcast at the beginning is, as is the intro sequence. But not the match itself.

  • The only one I can think of off the top of my head is the NFL's Game Day package, which is available only via satellite in the US, but is also on cable in Canada. But you still have the option of getting a satellite. All US sports are broken up into regional areas, which mostly makes sense because I don't think a whole lot of Philadelphians want to watch the LA Clippers. But, the sports leagues also have internet packages that give you access to every game.

    So I'm thinking that the situation is completely

    • The nfl offered it to cable systems but they did not put the funds to buy it But also the NFL wanted to be open to as much as the USA as they can so cable only would of been a no go more so back when it came up lot's of systems / in demand did not have a lot of room and some cable systems did not even have to room to fit in all of the MLB EI/ NHL CI / MLS DK/ and NBA LP channels. Also fox, nbc (before fox had NFL games) and cbs had say when it got started and they did not like it as NFL broadcasts are the r

  • sounds like the EU would be ok with one broadcaster having the rights for the entirety of europe

    • by Shimbo (100005)

      sounds like the EU would be ok with one broadcaster having the rights for the entirety of europe

      Courts only get to rule on the case in front of them, not some hypothetical other thing. In any case, the EU broke up the monopoly [bbc.co.uk] several years ago.

  • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @08:57AM (#37749332)

    A quick note to catch the Americans up on what matters most in the world:

    Pubs in Britain had to pay more to show English games than pubs overseas because Sky (who held the British rights) charged more.

    English football league is the richest in the world (most watched sports league in the world as a result)- in part because the TV money is so much higher there so it gets the best quality players.
    A certain % of Sky's money there goes back to the clubs.

    The English league will now lose some of the monetary advantage it had because Sky will have to compete with cheapo-European networks.

    Recently Liverpool Football Club asked to be able to negotiate their own TV rights outside of the league. Their argument : we're a big club- we have more fans- more people turn on the telly to watch us than some of the smaller clubs- we should get more money than smaller clubs that no-one watches.

    This was quickly shot down by everyone else who said it was a terrible idea. ESPECIALLY from the smaller clubs who would as a result get less money- but even some of the big clubs who would get more money as a result were not in favour.

    This is actually how it works in Spain- where clubs like Real Madrid, and Barcelona have budgets that dwarf anyone else. Real Madrid and Barca are the big teams- they negotiate their own TV deals- and as a result have been (even before now) making more money than even the English teams- despite the Spanish league being poorer (wealthwise) in general.

    Liverpool have a point though- now England is losing their advantage as a league- Real Madrid and Barcelona are going to have way more money than any club in England- because they get to negotiate their own deals. Being in England is no longer an advantage- so the wealth gap to the big Spanish teams will grow.

    The tide of power that had been in England for a number of years is now going to shift back to Spain again because their clubs will have much bigger budgets.

    • On the bright side (if you can call it that), the EU ruling could effectively give Sky satellite the ability to be the sole provider of English football league. I think it is more realistic that the EU ruling means that all satellite providers will now pay the same price regardless of their primary coverage area. So it may be more of a win for English football league.
      • by Carewolf (581105)

        I think that is how it used to be. The Sky monopoly on English football has already been broken up once before.

    • Regardless of location or type, organised sport is by definition, corrupt.
    • by xelah (176252)

      The English league will now lose some of the monetary advantage it had because Sky will have to compete with cheapo-European networks.

      Or, rather, because it will have to sell to other networks at the same prices per viewer (or somesuch, I don't know how such contracts work) and have lost their ability to price-discriminate between markets with different price sensitivities. Sky would then no longer be competing with cheapo European broadcasters because they'd become similarly expensive European broadcasters....but that reduces the total money taken for customers because, one presumes, Greek viewers are more price sensitive in this market

  • Bernie Ecclestone that is, owner of the FIA (Formula 1)

    • I'm sure he isn't happy- because if it applies to Footie it applies to F1 too.

      Also- as a part owner in a football team- he will lose out. TV rights will go down- and so less money will trickle back to the clubs- his investment. (and all English football clubs value) will go down as a result.

    • Bernie Ecclestone that is, owner of the FIA (Formula 1)
      Point of order, Bernie Ecclestone owns(or is a partial owner w/ some Eurobanks) the FOM not the FIA. FOM is Formula One Managment, and Bernie will just charge the tracks more money to hold his races and recoup his losses there. Probably means the end of Silverstone, and Spa, but more races in unstable totalitarian regimes. The FIA is the sanctioning body for mulitple autoracing events not just F1.
      • by gmhowell (26755)

        Yay, more races in shitholes with boring tracks totally lacking in history. Combined with tiny engines, I predict BIG things in the future for F1. /facepalm

  • "Could this be the beginning of dismounting the legacy system of exclusive distribution rights awarded to one company in one state?"

    I would hope it would be the beginning of the legacy system dismounting the fans so they can have a break from being on the bottom in this situation.

    Or did the OP mean to say "dismantling" ?

  • There is nothing more anti-capitalist than the exclusive contract. It's about time that the concept of the exclusive contract start to be found as the anti-competitive beast that it is.

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      There is nothing MORE capitalist then a exclusive monopoly. The entire concept of capitalism is that CAPITAL is in control. Therefore capital should buy all other capital to get even more power (aka exclusive monopoly).

      US ended with huge trusts in 1890s and early 1900s as a result of this, who bled the economy dry. In the end, they got so bad that antitrust legislation had to be enacted to avoid what would have essentially amounted to full blown and very inefficient fascism. Lucrative exclusive contracts we

      • by xelah (176252)

        There is nothing MORE capitalist then a exclusive monopoly. The entire concept of capitalism is that CAPITAL is in control. Therefore capital should buy all other capital to get even more power (aka exclusive monopoly).

        Umm, no. The concept of capitalism is that the providers of capital control the organization to which the capital was provided. There's nothing inherent in capitalism to imply that providers of capital should control anything beyond that - and the more competitive the markets in which they operate the less power they have. I'm sure that owners of capital (which almost certainly includes you to a small extent) would like to have further political and economic influence, may try to acquire it and may actually

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          You're arguing that direct, logical and historically proven consequence of capitalism is in fact not a part of capitalism.

          I suppose the argument is valid if you want to split hairs on limitations of terminology, but in the process you're reinforcing the original point.

  • One Distributor to rule them all?

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