Adios, Slashdot. I'm done here.
What if they just bought half the music industry, fixed it, then massacred the other half in the market place? That other half would soon change their ways to become competitive, given no other choice.
I have to ask what "fixing it" means. Because if it means making less money, then artists don't have a good financial incentive to sign on with Google's label and that would very quickly lead to the collapse of Google's music label.
If there were only one company that artists, sound engineers, et al, could go to for employment, that would be a seriously fucked up situation.
True, but we already have an oligopoly (major labels) that only exists because of state-backed monopolies (copyright)
Well, copyright law and the public's general willingness to pay the asked for price for the music. Copyright law does not produce a mandatory tax that everyone must pay. The companies exist because people have considered their product something they are willing to give money for.
Also, monopoly isn't really the right word. Copyright law doesn't grant a monopoly on producing music to anyone. It limits the rights to reproduce specific pieces of music. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on O/Ss because copyright law grants only them the right to reproduce their own O/S. They can't call up Bill Gates or Linus and tell them they're not allowed to produce an O/S. A "monopoly" on reproducing a particular song is no more a "monopoly" than that given to Oracle being the only company allowed to distribute the Oracle database.
and the purposes of the acquisition would be to reverse the harm that said oligopoly has caused. In this hypothetical, Google might not even be trying to make any money off of the acquisition,
I think your faith in Google's benevolance is quite alarming if you're suggesting they might buy a major music label without the intent to make money off it. I also think you'd be very disappointed to learn that music still cost money as if Google wasn't making a decent profit of it, the artists would sign up with a different label that did make them some money.
True...but if they are pricing themselves out of the casual listeners ballpark, yet adding restrictions to the extent that the ad-supported service is...well...useless, then they are effectively narrowing their revenue stream to only those people who do listen to music all day every day.
I consider the "if" in the above statement a pretty big one. I doubt at £5 a month, they're pricing themselves out of many people's ballpark. I'm an extremely casual listener. I mostly have the subscription for parties and dates. It's been really good to just have the World's music sitting there for anyone to pick from. I think £5 a month puts it well inside the casual bracket for most people.