What Could Be The Consequences Arising From Domination By A Single Wealthy Individual Of, For Example, Digital Satellite Tv?

1069 words - 4 pages

People in contemporary times are becoming more and more demanding and dependent on technology. Many people have capitalized financially as a result of this advent. "Tech companies" have market capitalizations in the billions and have thrived. All this potential gives rise to numerous implications for those doing business. What if a company simply gets too big? The world has seen this with the flight of Bill Gates and Microsoft, which currently holds 97% of the market share of home operating systems on the web. If perhaps the world of digital satellite TV was dominated by a single wealthy individual, what would happen? One cannot tell, however if this were to occur, the door would be opened for a plethora of problems for not only the consumer, but for citizens of the world. To fully understand the perspective through a legal standpoint, a company who dominated the market (keeping in mind the CEO or biggest shareholder as the "owner" or single individual who dominates) would be classified as a monopoly. A "monopoly" means a firm has complete control over the market, ie. they set the price of the product they sell and are the sole sellers of the product. While actually holding a monopoly isn't illegal, the process of trying to create a monopoly through methods such as impairing another company's ability to compete is illegal. The antitrust laws are laws that restrict companies trying to create monopolies. In the United States of America, the antitrust laws were mainly created by The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. One may ask "what relevance do monopolies and antitrust laws have to satellite television?" The answer lies in the fact that a monopoly is harmful to the consumer. The results of a monopoly in the digital satellite industry by a single individual could be tremendous. If the market was dominated by a single individual (and his/her company), then that company could ultimately determine the price of the service. Competitive markets allow for competitive pricing and the consumer benefits from the resulted low pricing. A firm with a monopoly has the opportunity to raise prices to increase profit. Since in a monopoly the consumer has no or little choice, they are forced to pay these fees. Another arising problem is that of the quality of service. If a company is a sole provider of something (for example BC Hydro in British Columbia for energy), then they are more likely to allow the quality of their service to degrade as there is no other choice for consumers. Both of these cases apply to any monopoly, but in the case of the digital satellite industry, a different problem lays dormant. If a single individual controlled the market, he/she would have a significant amount of individuals subscribing to the service (and watching what the company broadcasts on television). If the individual pleased, they would be able to determine what and what not could be broadcasted to its viewers. A person with a "secret agenda" could deprive...

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