LowComDom Performances Presents
Beef and Pickle
Here is a reader response on the DOJ vs. Microsoft case on cnnfn very much to the point.
A simple analogy...
In the country of Heldeburg it became fashionable to eat BeefSoft beef in hamburgers. BeefSoft beef might not be the best beef in the country, but, consumers being consumers, it became the leading supplier of beef to the leading restaurants in the country. (The only competition was a small company that made a fine beef from cattle that only ate apples, but you had to go to one of their restaurants and they were just too hard to find...)
There was also a company that made a fine pickle. Picklescape. Picklescape pickles were used and enjoyed by most consumers. Picklescape was a much smaller company than BeefSoft (Pickles being a much cheaper product than beef)
One day the head of BeefSoft, looking to expand, decided that pickles would be a good place to make more money (and who doesn't want more money?) So he set up a pickle factory. Looking to insure that his pickles would succeed, he started shipping his pickles with his beef to the restaurants for free! Some of the restaurants saw this as a windfall and started using the BeefSoft pickles in place of the Picklescape pickles. But some wanted to continue using the Picklecape pickles.
When the head of BeefSoft heard that some of the restaurants were continuing to use the Picklescape pickles, he sent a pleasant message to the restaurants telling that they had to maintain the Beefsoft beef experience and they had to use the BeefSoft pickles or BeefSoft would stop supplying the restaurants with BeefSoft beef.
The owners of the restaurants tried to get the Heldeburg government to help them, saying that what goes into one of their hamburgers should be their choice and they shouldn't be forced to use pickles that they don't want.
BeefSoft told the government that the pickles were an integral part of the beef and that in the next version of the beef, the pickles would be ground up with the beef and they would be one and the same.
Nobody bought that story either