Pro-consumer Standards and Anti-competitive Standards to Control Markets 

This news story about mobile phone charger interfaces reminds me of Larry Page's minor rant about laptop power supplies and connectors at CES. Artificial barriers against consumers switching to competitors isn't new, of course, and mobile phone charger interfaces, laptop power connectors, etc are just a few of the newer instantiations. Let's consider some more examples, in no particular order: Feel free to add more in comments. One of the interesting things to me about the original article is that the US, the champion of free markets, seems to be so leery of market regulation that China and South Korea are ahead of us in trying to enforce a standard that will ultimately benefit the consumer. (Also handphone penetration in Asia is greater than in the US, so such regulation is arguably more important to those populations.) Luckily this kind of consumer protection is more (a mild version of) antitrust and not safety. Hopefully we won't take a step backward and eliminate the FDA or the Penna Dept Ag, or outlaw the UL labs....


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