T-mobile can’t compete, so bans competition

T-Mobile, the crappy German mobile phone company, thought it was unfair that their competitors were selling better services than them — specifically VoIP on the iPhone — so they went to court and had the competition declared illegal:

We’ve pointed to a bunch of stories that involved Apple somewhat arbitrarily forbidding or banning iPhone apps, but now it appears that the courts are getting in on the game as well. A German court has banned a VoIP iPhone app after T-Mobile, the mobile operator who offers the iPhone in Germany, complained. The court says that this VoIP app “makes use of unfair business practices,” though it’s difficult to see how. VoIP is a perfectly acceptable application, so why is it unfair?

This brings to mind my previous comment about making something people want versus rent-seeking:

There are in general two ways that firms can make profits: by making something people want, or by rent-seeking. The former is usually beneficial: it increases the sum of human happiness and welfare. The latter is usually harmful.

Incidently, a society can be seen as a mechanism for incentivising things that benefit people and disincentivising things that harm people; and the success of a society is largely determined by how well its rules achieve this. It follows that if the rules of a society allow a firm to make profits without making something people want — for example a firm whose only business is patent litigation — then those rules are probably harming that society and should be changed.

T-mobile are too incompetent to make something people want, so the arseholes went down the rent-seeking route instead.

This entry was posted in computers, digital rights, DRM, economics, Germany, society and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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