Apple’s controversial decision to remove the universal 3.5mm audio jack from its just-released iPhone 7 has several economic dimensions. All of them are a consequence of Apple’s proprietary architecture (colloquially known as “Steve’s walled garden”) and the extent to which Apple is trying to/able to exercise incumbent vertical market power. How much market power … More Apple’s jack and incumbent vertical market power
Lest ye think that I am not a fan of vertical integration, given how firm I am in my arguments for the dis-integration of the vertically-integrated, regulated electric utility, I recommend this post from Seth Goldin about reasons why firms vertically integrate. In large part it’s a concise summary of Klein, Crawford, & Alchian (1978), … More Why vertically integrate?
Michael Giberson Edward McAllister and David Sheppard, with Reuters, have a great story on the connection between disaster preparedness and the nature of retailer ownership. They report that corporately-owned retailers, such as convenience-store chain WaWa and vertically-integrated gasoline refiner/retailer Hess, drew on corporate resources in advance of the storm to be ready to return stores … More Gasoline supply chain stories in post-Sandy New Jersey and New York
Lynne Kiesling Just a quick note to accompany the discussion in the comments on Mike’s post about Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, and fuel price hedging: a couple of weeks ago Virginia Postrel had a very good analysis of the reasons why the Delta-Conoco transaction is not a good idea, in her regular column at Bloomberg … More Virginia Postrel on Delta’s refinery purchase
Lynne Kiesling Yesterday Google announced its purchase of Motorola Mobility, the device manufacturing half of the former Motorola. Today’s Wall Street Journal has a front page full of stories about this move, including “Bid Comes Amid Tougher Scrutiny” (You know how to read this even though it’s subscriber-only, right? Do a search at a news … More Google, Motorola, and the effects of vertical integration
Michael Giberson Following up on a Monday post, in the news another report of a Texas electric power retailer seeking to acquire generation as a natural hedge. From Platts: Direct Energy said Wednesday that it plans to acquire and/or develop new generating capacity in the US to support its electricity retailing business. Direct, a subsidiary … More Retail electric power market shakeout in Texas, II
Michael Giberson One last Texas electric power post for the day, this one on the upheaval among some electric power retailers in Texas, via Platts: The shrinking field of retail marketers is not an indictment against restructured power markets but an expected result of the credit crisis and its impact on retailers, Jim Burke, CEO … More The retail electric power market shakeout in Texas