Saturday, August 19, 2006

Whacky Anti-americanism!

I got a good chuckle from this DongA Ilbo piece about how US Antitrust law is too tough on the Korean companies. I guess what can you expect from a country who thinks passing out pardons for such is a good for the economy.

What bothers me is how the article devolves into you basic anti-american screed. The first is the linking of the Patriot act to wiretaps used in the cases against  Hynix and Samsung. As I recall wiretaps in antitrust cases were always possible (especially in cartel cases) since its possible to attain them through RICO statutes (correct me if I am wrong on this). The Patriot act may have made it easier, but the possibly was always there I think.

The article then really begins to get nutty:

Regarding this move, Wang Sang-han, a law professor at Sogang University, pointed out that Washington in an attempt to defend its people and the market economy ignores international law and other nations' sovereignty.

 Some said that strengthened regulations including the tapping of conversations of alleged price-fixers are designed to make up for the loss from the Iraq War. 

However, professor Lee Ho-sun of Kookmin University said that U.S. antitrust law has positioned itself as a universal value in the global market though its history is short and often exploited to serve national interests.

OK say it with me...WHAT THE HELL??? According to these Korean law professors, eliminating cartels do the following:

A. Ignores International Law

I am unaware on any international law on cartels (if there were why dont we go after OPEC?). I am sure this is just a bromide proffered out of the fashionable delusion that "everything the US does is against International Law".

B. Ignores other nations sovereignty

If this is the case, then any Korean law that governs US companies is in some way a violating of US sovereignty

C. Provides economic benefits to compensate the US government from the Iraq war

This is too absurd of a connection to even bother with, but how can an action that cost the US easily one trillion dollars be compensated by the two Korean companies paltry 140 million mentioned in the article?

D. Exploit antitrust law to further US interest overseas

First considering Micron Technologies, a US company not mentioned in the article, was subject to simular penalties in the same case I fail to see how this furthers US interests.

Further if that truly is the case, then explain Rambus. Rambus, a US company, is currently under antitrust investigation, if found guilty (and it looks like they will be) this BENEFITS SAMSUNG AND HYNIX. So again I fail to see the "national interest" angle.


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