>>Personally I think for Capitalism to work properly, the govenrment should not place limits on how a person descides to sell, market or create their product as long as it is not misleading.<<
Actually, the government puts all kinds of limits on companies. The things is, the limits are supposed to protect the public, and not other companies.
As one other poster pointed out, protecting COMPETITION – which is not the same thing as protecting other companies – is in the public’s best interests. Predatory pricing hurts “competition,” as opposed to “the competition,” (there’s a difference) and is therefore illegal.
If we really lived in an anything goes market place, then I could sell mediocre PCU’s that still trounced the competition, because mine came equipped with an ounce of dope in the CD-ROM drive. I can’t do this, because drugs are illegal, and that is (supposedly) in the public’s best interests.
As far as IE goes-- the courts are going to have to decide whether giving it away for free constitutes underpricing. There’s a good argument for this, because only a big company like Microsoft could afford to give it away.
However, if Microsoft can argue that a browser is now an integral part of a computer-- like a starter motor in a car for example-- then it can probably get away with claiming that the production costs are just built into the computers’ cost.
So a lot of this will hang on exactly what constitutes a computer, ie, what the public’s expectation is.
For the OP’s question: how, in your hypothetical situtation, does a company make it “impossible” to use another company’s monitor? With a complicated plug? Eventually, someone will market an adapter. By programming the computer to detect some kind of component chip in the monitor, and if it can’t detect it, then to erase it’s hard drive?
You can see how the courts would dismiss the first example, but probably determine that the second is not in the public’s best interest. I mean, suppose some doctor accidentally hooked up his computer to an incompatible monitor, and erased all his patient files.
I’m trying to think of a real life example of the second situation, but one isn’t coming to mind.
Shopping is still cheaper than therapy. --my Aunt Franny