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OpenMarket: Regulatory Reform

  • Regulation of the Day 25: Cattle with Scabies

    August 4, 2009
    If you own cattle and they are at risk of catching scabies, you may want to read up on the pertinent federal regulations. There are a lot of them.
  • End the Letter Delivery Monopoly: Sell The USPS

    August 4, 2009
  • FDA to Smokers: Drop Dead

    August 3, 2009
    The FDA is now moving towards banning a smoking alternative that could save many lives. Every year, millions of smokers like my wife try and fail to quit, because they are nicotine addicts. Many later die of smoking-related illnesses, which are caused by the smoke, not the nicotine. The obvious solution is to give smokers access to less hazardous products that provide the nicotine they crave without the deadly smoke, like chewing tobacco, or, better yet, electronic cigarettes or snus. (Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, deliver nicotine in a vapor instead of much more harmful tobacco smoke). The FDA is now...
  • The Antitrust Anachronism

    August 3, 2009
    Wall Street Journal columnist Gordon Crovitz has a great column in today's paper on the anachronism that is antitrust law. He writes: "Markets were so much simpler in the 1890s, when Sen. John Sherman got almost unanimous support in Congress to go after the Standard Oil Co. of Ohio. The Sherman Act and later antitrust laws were supposed to protect consumer interests. That’s not so easy when regulators have to deal with industries as different as oil, with its cartels and long product cycles, and technology, where fast change is a constant necessity for survival."
  • Newsflash to FCC: The iPhone is a Closed Platform, and Consumers Love It

    August 2, 2009
    Just when you thought the FCC's investigation of the wireless industry couldn't get any stranger, TechCrunch reports that the Commission has sent letters to AT&T, Apple, and Google inquiring about Apple's recent decision to reject the Google Voice app from the iPhone App Store. It's been over two years since the original iPhone was launched, but it seems the FCC still doesn't get it: the iPhone is very clearly a closed...
  • The Antitrust Religion still Has Many Adherents

    July 31, 2009
    Why bother with the ongoing challenge of competing in the marketplace if one can merely go to Brussels or Washington?
  • Regulation of the Day 24: The Width of Ladders

    July 31, 2009
    It is illegal for a portable metal ladder to have steps narrower than 12 inches.
  • Bonus pay bill: CBO predicts huge costs to private sector, broad swaths of employees affected

    July 31, 2009
    After the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculated the enormous costs of an all-encompassing health care scheme with a bloated public option, members of Congress from both parties asked for more due diligence before rubber stamping the plan.  Yet today, the U.S. House of Representatives may rush through another piece of poorly designed command-and-control legislation that the CBO just yesterday said could have its own tremendous costs.  Though advertised as giving shareholders more "say" over CEO pay, the "Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act of 2009 [H.R. 3269]," would give the government the power to ban performance bonuses for a wide variety of employees - including even office assistants and clerks - at a wide variety of firms.   On Thursday, July 30, the CBO Cost Estimate for the bill, sponsored by House Financial Services Chairman Barney...
  • More on the Microhoo Deal

    July 30, 2009
    The long-awaited collaboration of Microsoft and Yahoo on search has the tech business community abuzz. CEI analysts Wayne Crews and Ryan Young made their original statements here. Media outlets immediately took note, as seen in this Investor's Business Daily story (posted, fitting enough, at Yahoo Finance) from yesterday:
    Ryan Young, a fellow of regulatory studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, says the deal should be approved. "It will make Google stay on its toes," he said. "Bing and Yahoo should improve from the proposed partnership. This is how a competitive, contestable market works."
    We also got some love from Erika Morphy at E-commerce Times in...
  • (Un)Free Press Sticks it to the Essentials

    July 30, 2009
    The latest missive from the folks at Free Press has crossed the line:
    When challenged, the wireless carriers actually compare their industry to another: soda. This is from the Times editorial on July 22:
    Phone companies point out that exclusivity agreements are commonplace in other industries. For example, they say, it is not often that one finds a restaurant serving Coke and Pepsi.
    Sorry, but cell phones aren't soda. Unlike carbonated sugar water, cell phone choice, network access and the mobile Web are increasingly essential components of a democratic society. We rely on them for access to the information we need to be engaged citizens in the 21st century.
    Free Press doesn't even bother to challenge the logic, because it's absolutely true....


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