Attorney Thomas Bowden draws some interesting parallels between the Apple antitrust persecution and the persecution of Rearden Metal in Ayn Rand’s epic best-selling novel Atlas Shrugged:
In Rand’s novel, the particular law that necessitated a Washington-installed monitor was designed to control sales of a brand-new metal, demand for which far outstripped supply. The law mandated that each customer receive a “fair share” of the popular metal. What’s a “fair share?” The law didn’t say—and so a monitor (nicknamed the “Wet Nurse”) was sent to the factory, to substitute his dictates for the owners’ decisions. Here’s a passage from the novel:
Nobody had known how to determine what constituted a fair share of what amount. Then a bright young boy just out of college had been sent to him from Washington, as Deputy Director of Distribution. After many telephone conferences with the capital, the boy announced that customers would get five hundred tons of the Metal each, in the order of the dates of their applications. Nobody had argued against his figure. There was no way to form an argument; the figure could have been one pound or one million tons, with the same validity. The boy had established an office at the Rearden mills, where four girls took applications for shares of Rearden Metal. At the present rate of the mills’ production, the applications extended well into the next century.
Read the rest of In Apple antitrust case, life imitates Atlas Shrugged.