Bundling Competitor Products for a Better Tomorrow


I want everyone to take a moment to think about their competition. Not just the competition, but whoever they believe their arch nemesis is in the arena of capitalism. Now I want you to think about bundling their product, service, and so forth with your own products.

Sorta weird and somewhat against the whole competitive market theme isn’t it?

Now let’s take Microsoft and the EU. The web browser market is an extremely competitive market where the number 1 product (IE) is loosing market share in vast quantities. How vast you may ask? In other industries the differences in market share are the types of shifts that occur in a decade or longer (Microsoft lost 11.5% market share in less than two years where as a number one product like Coke took 10 years to lose 15%).

This is a market very much under the grasp of capitalism and is in fact running the way it should. The products are presented and the CUSTOMERS, not the companies, not the EU, not the US, not governments, and principalities, but the CUSTOMERS have the say in what is good and what isn’t. What customers want they have been getting, tabbed browsing, the ability to add plugins, dynamic bookmarks, RSS feed browsing, etc. The customers show they want these features by, oh my gosh, telling the companies and backing that up by market share.

There is no antitrust going on here, period.

Microsoft was found guilty of antitrust… of course they were, the panel wouldn’t even assemble for an appeal. Microsoft was guilty before the first gavel fell. So Microsoft has to either remove IE from their product or bundle their competitors.

A browser is a fundamental part of computers. How can you download competitors browsers without one? The corollary, how does a company justify bundling the competition with their product?

Lets put this in more real terms. You buy a car. It has a steering wheel. You could go to the local auto store to buy a steering wheel if you like, perhaps you want one with more cushion, go for it. Buy that steering wheel. But without a steering wheel you can’t take the car you bought to get that steering wheel from the auto parts store.

The car, and rightly so, comes bundled with a steering wheel. Would you expect Ford or Honda or Austin Martin or Mercedes to have 10 steering wheels in the trunk so you can pick and choose which ones you want? Don’t be absurd. Or maybe 20 shift knobs, or 100 hubcaps, etc. And yet there are more than one thousand companies who make a living off of custom car accessories.

EU, I have found your new target. Sue the pants off of every car company for antitrust against the custom car accessory industry!

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