Continuing on today's theme of asking dumb questions about areas of law I don't know enough about, here's a question about anti-trust law, spurred by the news that Administration Plans to Strengthen Antitrust Rules.
Why isn't this, which no one even attempts to hide, an anti-trust violation???
Basically, Microsoft will only allow netbook makers to load XP on machines that are a touch on the slow side, and don't have quite enough RAM — and have been crippled to prevent users from increasing it.
PC makers must limit screen size to 14.1 in. and hard-drive capacity to 160GB. Ultralow-cost PCs with touch screens will also be eligible. Earlier terms set in April did not allow touch screens at all and limited screen sizes to 10.2 in. and hard-drive capacity to 80GB. The processors are still limited to a single-core chip running at no more than 1 GHz, with memory limited to 1GB of RAM.
Why isn't this illegal? Don't the anti-trust laws prevent a software maker with a dominant position from dictating hardware to pc makers in order to protect the market share of a different product?
Then again, it may be wrong to blame Microsoft for what may actually be a case of collusion with the hardware people:
The goal of the program is apparently to limit the hardware capabilities of such PCs so that they don't eat into the market for mainstream PCs running Windows Vista, something both Microsoft and PC vendors would want to avoid.
That sure sounds like the sort of collusion I thought the anti-trust laws prevented. Everyone is being so open about this, I have to assume that there's a reason why it's legal. I'm just wondering what it could be.