Subject: Re: ARM: The Non-Evil Monopolist
From: Ben Tilly <btilly@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 11:46:44 -0700

On Sat, 10 Jul 2004 10:22:58 -0700, Tim O'Reilly <tim@oreilly.com> wrote:
> Extremely relevant to the question of whether a fairly-achieved
> monopoly is intrinsically bad, or only bad to the extent that its
> holders try to entrench their position and have tools to undermine
> competition.

There is a question?

My concern with monopolies is that they can leave someone
with both the position and incentives to be abusive and stand in
the way of further progress.  If you got to where you are by giving
a better product at the right price, the more power to you.  I think
that most people are similar, with the main difference being at
what point they start looking for signs of monopoly being abused.

ARM's monopoly notwithstanding, it is not in such a position.  As
stated in the article:

    Finally, and most importantly, ARM has to be nice. The
    company's business revolves around developing
    intellectual property for other--mostly larger--companies.
    There are only two ways to make it as an IP company:
    bend over backwards to accommodate your customers
    and potential clients, or sue the pants off of them for
    patent infringement.

    ARM has taken route 1. As a result, the company
    functions almost like a Swiss bank, providing technical
    assistance and engineering to avowed enemies. 

If their incentives changed, I'd bet that their behaviour would
eventually follow suit.  Then you'd start hearing the complaints.

> Begin forwarded message:
> 
> > From: brian-slashdotnews@hyperreal.org
> > Date: July 10, 2004 3:26:01 AM PDT
> > To: slashdotnews@hyperreal.org
> > Subject: ARM: The Non-Evil Monopolist
> >
> > Link: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/09/1953235
> > Posted by: michael, on 2004-07-10 09:02:00
> > Topic: hardware, 81 comments
[...]
> > References
> >
> >    1. http://www.compumania.nl/squirt
> >    2. http://zdnet.com.com/The+quiet+monopoly/2100-1103_2-5263641.html
> >    3. http://www.arm.com/

Cheers,
Ben