Competition Act

Darryl Moore darryl at
Wed Jun 17 17:32:09 UTC 2009

Russell, I agree completely with your conclusion here, but at the same
time I think we are now looking at a slightly different kettle of fish.

With the DVD-CCA issue it is very difficult to point at any one company
and say that they are suffering as a result of anti-competitive
practices. There is nothing stopping you, in Canada anyway, from
installing decss on anything you want. Perhaps the big DVD player
manufactures would be able to claim greater hardship, but I also suspect
they were not included in your submission.

In this case I think it is easy to point to any number of system
integrators (you, myself, others) who can put quantifiable numbers on
the extra cost required to meet Microsoft's arbitrary terms, so that
they can give the minimal 3rd party compatibility necessary to make the
product technically feasible.

That coupled with the fact the MS already leverages their monopoly to
get 3rd party S/W vendors to subsidize the OS effectively giving it a
negative cost to the consumer, and I think you have a reasonable case.

Given that to date the CB has done nothing to reign in this monopoly,
perhaps this will be viewed as their opportunity to do something, and
they'd be helping small businesses more than the big ones for a change.
They'd also be seen as leveling the playing field for OSS which is
becoming more and more popular with governments these days. (At least,
they like to give it more lip service now )

I would love to see what you submitted to the CB all those years ago if
you are willing to share. It might help me put together an initial draft
for this submission.


Russell McOrmond wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Jun 2009, Darryl Moore wrote:
>> Interesting according to section 10(1)(a) they HAVE to open an
>> investigation if 6 people file a complaint. I wonder if Russell's
>> original complaint had 6 names
>> Also once the inquiry is open they have to keep you appraised of its
>> progress. 10(2)
>    Yes and Yes.  The second part was fulfilled by phone calls from the 
> bureau explaining that they did a quick market analysis and didn't think 
> there was a reason to investigate further.
>    My complaint, partly coordinated to have other people send in letters 
> through the mailing list, was about the DVD CCA and 
> DRM.  Microsoft was peripherally mentioned as a beneficiary of locked 
> platforms, and the whole issue became a chapter by Michael Geist in "In 
> The Public Interest" (DRM and competition), but nothing much came out of 
> it.  He was also hired to do a report for the bureau, and I made a number 
> of (unsolicited) submissions.
>    I'm of the opinion that we need to get MPs in the right committees to 
> get excited about this before much will come out of it.  The designed-in 
> secrecy of the under-resourced bureau has allowed it to be invisably 
> ineffective.

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