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Dissertation Information for Ian Patrick MacInnes

- Ian Patrick MacInnes

- Ph.D.

- [No Discipline Recorded]

- University of Southern California (USA) (1998)

- None

- None

MPACT Status: Incomplete - Not_Inspected

Title: Compatibility standards, market power, and antitrust policy: Proprietary interfaces and their alternatives

Abstract: "This theory-building study answers the following question: ""why do multi-generation standards-based monopolies not seem to have the typical anticonsumer effects that economic theory predicts?"" The author argues that innovation, competitive pricing, entry of new competitors, and compatibility can be maintained, in spite of a de facto monopoly, due to the special conditions that often characterize compatibility standards. The competitive conditions include the existence of substitutes in the form of prior versions, commoditization of the interface, uncertainty resulting from rapid technological advance, and licensing agreements that ensure compatibility. The study also evaluates antitrust issues including product preannouncements, bundling, leveraging, mergers, and pricing. The primary case study is Microsoft's dominance in personal computer operating systems.

The research proposes that a new type of monopoly should be identified in the economic literature. This compatibility standards monopoly appears to be less damaging to the interests of end users than other intellectual property-based monopolies. Security of position tends to be low, due to threat of entry, while potential rewards from innovation are high, as a result of the need to differentiate new products from previous versions that serve as substitutes. Nonetheless, certain rules can foster innovation and pricing incentives.

Governments can implement several policies for antitrust enforcement of compatibility standards-based monopolies. For example, they can reduce the probability of market failure due to information asymmetry by establishing rules to diminish the number of inaccurate product preannouncements. Competitive behaviour can be encouraged by restricting time or usage-based licensing in software and by ensuring that users can buy licenses for prior versions of products. Constraints on pricing and the mandated break-up of standards-based monopolies on the basis of architecture and applications would, however, be counterproductive because they would reduce the incentive to innovate and the ability to add value through superior integration. In general, governments should encourage the use of proprietary interfaces for the global information infrastructure because they are likely to be more innovative and compatible than non-proprietary ones."

MPACT Scores for Ian Patrick MacInnes

A = 0
C = 5
A+C = 5
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2014-03-08 20:02:27

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Students under Ian Patrick MacInnes

- None

- John Beachboard - Syracuse University (1999)
- Nelson Massad - Syracuse University (2003)
- Nora Irene Misiolek - Syracuse University (2006)
- Chingning Wang - Syracuse University (2007)
- Raed M. Sharif - Syracuse University (2013)