I had the same thought initially as a lot of people probably did when I read about the feds’ lawsuit against the major book publishers for allegedly colluding to keep book prices higher than Amazon wanted them to drop.
Conventional wisdom said the traditional publishers were trying to keep Amazon from having a monopoly, and a monopoly would ordinarily be bad for consumers. In this case, of course, Amazon has used its dominance to keep prices ultra-low, despite the fact some people may feel like the traditional publishers are on the consumer’s side here.
Even supposing the publishers’ actions had good intentions, though, it doesn’t matter, according to this Wall Street Journal article.
From the article:
“U.S. antitrust law doesn’t seek to protect little companies against big ones, or even struggling ones against successful ones. Companies can grow as large as they want, as long as they do it through lower prices, better service or niftier innovations. Companies can even become monopolies, as long as they don’t get there illegally or try to extend their power by unlawfully stifling competition.
Companies under pressure from a more successful rival can’t band together to protect themselves, whatever their size.”