Guys Like Us Avoid Monopolies …
I’ve received quite a few messages about Microsoft (MSFT) Chairman Bill Gates’s “monopolies” comment, which we’ve been running in the quote box on our D6 Highlights page. For the curious, here’s a quick recap of the exchange that led up to it.
[Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer: To accelerate scale it made sense for us to consider a Yahoo acquisition. The truth of the matter is, if nobody else gets scale except the current leader, what happens? … Some day all the ads for The Wall Street Journal Online might be sold by one guy and he’ll tell you exactly how much your editorial is worth.
Kara: Yeah, like a monopoly. Interesting.
Walt: That’s a great point. That’s exactly the sort of argument that was made against Microsoft.
Ballmer: Am I saying there’s something wrong? I’m just saying we are guys who will compete. That’s all I’m saying.
Gates: Guys like us avoid monopolies. We like to compete.