Russian Telcos: Skype Is Hurting Our Business And Must Be Stopped

from the not-very-subtle dept

Usually, these days, when companies beg the gov’t for protectionist policies against upstart competitors, they at least work out a convoluted story about some sort of real harm (i.e., beyond the bottom line of those asking for protection) caused by the upstart. So, you get the record companies claiming that music will stop being made, or perhaps food companies complaining about the safety standards of foreign food products. There may even be some truth to those stories (or not), but the real reason is to avoid competition. Over in Russia, for example, it appears that a bunch of telco execs are complaining about Skype. They at least try to pass off a plausible non-save-our-asses reason: mentioning security, but they don’t do a very good job hiding the truth. Repeatedly they seem to plead that Skype is evil because it makes it difficult for the old guard telcos to charge super high fees. Competition is such a pain sometimes…

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Companies: skype

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Comments on “Russian Telcos: Skype Is Hurting Our Business And Must Be Stopped”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“In a presentation posted on the lobby’s Web site, Vice President of TTK, a telecoms unit of state-owned Russian Railways, Vitaly Kotov, called on regulators to stop VoIP services from causing “a likely and uncontrolled fall in profits for the core telecom operators.”

The purpose of good economics isn’t to optimize the profit margins of special interest groups at the expense of everyone else. It’s to increase aggregate output. Restrictions that ban innovation like this will only reduce aggregate output. Just goes to show you the true motives behind those that lobby the government, it’s not about what’s best for society it’s about what’s best for their bottom line (though they often give a false pretext that govt regulation in their favor is somehow good for society). I’m surprised in this case that they almost blatantly admitted that it’s about their bottom line and not about what’s best for society. Why should we believe that U.S. firms that lobby for their benefit are any different? Why should we believe that what U.S. firms lobby for are somehow best for society? Why should we believe that the laws passed in the U.S. that are based on lobbying efforts and that help special interest groups are somehow best for society? Simply because those who benefit assert so? I think not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Wait, did you just figure this out now? I thought it was inherent in the term, lobbyist, that it was for selfish reasons rather than the good of the many.

However, I do agree it is pretty lame that corporations have so much pull in the legislation instead of actually listening to what the people of the country want.

Well, our country was founded on this principle since protecting corporate interest has always been a goal of the government. I guess it has worked thus far, so who cares?

davebarnes (profile) says:

Russia = doomed economy

Joe Biden said. “They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they’re in a situation where the world is changing before them and they’re clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable.”

Spend some time at

The Russians have only two things of importance:
1. Nuclear weapons with delivery systems.
2. Oil/gas.

Nick says:

Re: Russia = doomed economy

This is an intriguing if sweeping comment that conveniently ignores several things. While Russia has its issues it also until this year had paid off all its debt, was running a current account surplus and is paying for its interventions with reserves of foreign currency and a fund build up during the years when oil prices were very high. I think many governments in Europe and the US could only dream of being in this position as they are paying for the interventions by issuing debt…

The site you linked was interesting but maybe you should spend sometime elsewhere too…

angry dude says:

Re: Russia = doomed economy

yeah right, doomed indeed
with the currency reserves ranking third in the world (after China and Taiwan), vast untapped natural resources and (still) highly educated population

What about US where the only natural reserve is Obama money printing press

We’ll see results real soon

Cash your 401Ks now (if you have one) and live a high life while it lasts

Anonymous Man says:

High School

It’s like global high school!

The nerd (Skype) comes to class and the big jock (“old guard telco’s”) is pissed because the nerd is all of a sudden better then the jock on a level in which he can’t compete or comprehend. So the jock gets angry, violent and enraged over this. Now he is the bully and either steals the nerds new toy or beats the crap out of him over it. Yet the nerd is completely in his own right to have what he has because he made it, developed it and brought it out into the world and the world loves it. The jock is just to old, dumb and unaccepting of anything different then what resides in his smaller then normal brain.

As Herbert Spencer would put it; now its all about the “survival of the fittest”.
The question is… who wins?
Brains or Brawn?

Personally I’d prefer brains to win because the world as a whole is already becoming less intelligent by the generation and I’m glad I won’t be around in 200yrs when movies like Idiocracy start to look plausible.

Paul Brinker (profile) says:

Try blocking it :)

I think Skype uses the same port as HTML, how do you block it? If your really insane you could block off a good chunk of the world or something but in the end its just like trying to block Vent or any other VOIP program.

I have my own Vent server so family around the world can talk for free, works great, goes down once or twice a month but noone cares.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Save me big government ....

This is a story that should have been called….

“Save me big government I have an unfair monopoly and dont want to give it up”

I love stories like this!! Many nations of the world resort to protectionism to shore up faltering industries. The results are always the same a short term protection resulting in an economic collapse of the protected industries.

Long depression

Great paper in pdf format … great depression

IMHO …. Over the next 10 years we are going to see the following industries go under or change in an extreme way…

– News Papers

– The Big record companies

– Soviet Telecom companies

– Broadcast side of cable companies

All of them are protected or will be by laws or regulations implemented to help them.

Randell (user link) says:

Skype is Evil

Skype is evil because Skype will permanently keep your Skype account no matter what. After the time-wasting hassle of sending e-mail concerns and sending e-mail complaints regarding account deactivation and account cancellation when I don’t need these guys, Skype is evil – because once you sign up, their genetically-engineered artificial toxic will preserve their names and their personal data so they will never decompose and will never corrode as they will linger throughout the servers of soul-less minds. If anything like this, Skype will end up becoming like a landfill full of unused accounts, making it not efficient and not good for the server environment.

So before you sign up at Skype, you better think of a good reason about why they will keep their account names for no reason. Skype is evil.

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