25 February 2008

The Invisible Hand

Next time you see somebody arguing that the unfettered market will solve all of society's ills, show them this:

Cephalon was entitled to defend its patent in court. Instead, it fought back unfairly. The company paid the competing manufacturers more than $200 million in exchange for their agreements to keep their products off the market for nearly seven years. This payoff benefited the generic manufacturers enormously: They made more by sitting on their hands than they ever could have the old-fashioned way, by entering the market and competing. For Cephalon, too, the payoff was a bargain: Chief executive Frank Baldino Jr. acknowledged that it made about $4 billion "that no one expected."

In other news, it's reported that wealthy baseball franchises are going to begin staffing their roster with nobodies who can't throw a pitch to save their lives, and use the leftover money to simply pay off players on other teams to not bother showing up. That'll lead to much better baseball games, I'm sure.

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