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NEWS
May 30, 1991
Who invented AZT? Though it sounds like a superfluous game-show question, the answer is at the center of a crucial health-care dispute. Azidothymidine, or AZT, is a drug that prolongs survival for people with AIDS. It is currently being manufacturered by a British pharmaceutical firm, Burroughs Wellcome. And the cost -- $3,000 a year per person -- brings in hundreds of millions in annual revenue for the company.The problem, in practical terms, is that Burroughs Wellcome holds the patent on AZT; no other company can produce it. Barr Laboratories tried recently by asking the Food and Drug Administration for permission to produce a generic version of the drug.
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NEWS
July 7, 2013
Jeers to the Baltimore City Council members who put big business ahead of the citizens of Baltimore ("Ticketmaster fees could be unlimited with proposed law," July 3). The excuses given for gutting the Ticketmaster fee bill are pathetic. "Baltimore may lose talent. " Maybe we won't! "There is a market for the service fees. " It's a monopoly! It's not as if the citizens can shop around as to whom we want to purchase tickets from. I do go to the box office to save the service charges when it is feasible, but that isn't always the case.
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By Aron Davidowitz and Aron Davidowitz,SUN STAFF | October 16, 2003
Baltimore chiropractor Murray Rosenfeld wants the Monopoly world to know he's back. Four years ago, Rosenfeld, 49, was one of the last four contestants playing in the National Monopoly Championship. Tomorrow, the Pikesville resident will be one of 48 American players in Chicago for the 2003 Championship, sponsored by the popular board game's maker, Parker Brothers. This year's tournament boasts a new perk. The top player will walk away with a "Community Chest" of $15,140 and an invitation to represent the United States at the 2004 World Monopoly Championship.
HEALTH
By Jean Marbella, The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2013
Researchers hailed the Supreme Court ruling Wednesday that bans the patenting of human DNA, saying it would expand access to genetic testing for disease at lower cost to patients. In a unanimous decision, the justices said Myriad Genetics did not have exclusive rights to the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes that are linked to significantly greater risk for breast cancer and thus should not be the only company allowed to test for it. "Myriad did not create anything," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for his fellow justices.
NEWS
By Al Webb | June 15, 2000
LONDON -- A couple of years from now, you could find yourself forking out a fistful of euros to ride the Space Mountain rocket at Disneyland Paris, or for a ticket to "Aida" at Milan's La Scala opera house, or for a schnapps on Berlin's Kurfurstendamm. Then again, you could find them more useful for buying Baltic Avenue on your Monopoly board. The euro is the European Union's single currency, intended to do away with all those marks and francs and lire and the like. Its enthusiasts foresee a day when, as the EU sweeps eastward, its new money wipes out all those levs and leus and zlotys and other foo-foo currencies that are perhaps better suited as wallpaper for the bathroom.
NEWS
July 16, 2012
Though state policy allows BGE to levy a small fee on consumers even when they don't have electricity (officially called a "bill stabilization adjustment"), it's easy to see why Marylanders are frustrated by it ("For frustrated BGE customers, even small bills too much," July 13th). Supposedly it is used to pay for the electricity grid. But in reality it is probably just another way for BGE to get money. Still, the Public Services Commission, under pressure from the consumer lobby, has limited such fees to the first day of a "major storm event.
NEWS
By Thomas Sowell | July 12, 2001
STANFORD, Calif. - The U.S. Postal Service has raised its rates twice this year and is already talking about raising rates again next year. It has also made noises, and then thought better, about eliminating Saturday mail deliveries. But the big problem with the Postal Service is that it is a monopoly and that the government keeps it a monopoly by law. Why were people alarmed about the threatened elimination of Saturday mail deliveries? Would we panic if some supermarket said that it would close on Saturdays?
ENTERTAINMENT
By Helen Ubinas and Helen Ubinas,HARTFORD COURANT | September 7, 1998
Believe it or not, some things are better left untouched by technology: "Monopoly" is one of them.Case in point is the new CD-ROM game, "Monopoly: World Cup France 98 Edition," now available from Hasbro (www.hasbro- interactive.com) for $30.Much in this classic game is the same - the object, the game rules, the four corner spaces and their functions. Victory still belongs to the player remaining after all other players have gone bankrupt.A lot is different, too. Most notably, the World Cup theme.
NEWS
By George F. Will | November 11, 1999
WASHINGTON -- IBM, the poor dear, was being bullied. Microsoft, according to an IBM official who testified at the antitrust trial, said it would deny IBM a license to use Microsofts Windows operating system unless IBM agreed not to promote products that compete with various Microsoft products.IBM refused to make that concession. And got the license anyway. Being a monopoly does not seem to be as much fun as it was in Standard Oils salad days.Two branches of the federal government, which is a case study in institutional sclerosis, are lecturing Microsoft on the virtues and modalities of innovation, but at least President Clintons Justice Department, which sometimes resembles a torpid lion sunning itself after dining on a succulent missionary, has at last found a violation of law sufficient to bestir it. Still, is it churlish to wonder, pianissimo, if there really is such a thing as antitrust law?
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | May 17, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Curbing cities' power to turn their citizens' trash into energy plus a profit, the Supreme Court struck down yesterday a local government monopoly over the processing of town waste.In a 6-3 ruling that raised constitutional doubts about laws in 21 states, the court said that a small community in New York state acted unlawfully when it required everyone in town to dump at a single town-approved plant.That is commercial discrimination that would take business away from other local processing plants and interfere with the flow of trash among the states, the court declared in an opinion written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2013
Harford County Executive David R. Craig has launched his campaign for the Republican nomination for governor in 2014, betting that he can overcome the suspicions of the far right of his party and the Democrats' 2-1 voter registration advantage in Maryland. The 63-year-old veteran officeholder made his announcement Monday before several hundred backers at a hall in Havre de Grace, the historic town on the Susquehanna River where he grew up and got his start in politics. Craig denounced the record of Gov. Martin O'Malley, charging that the term-limited Democrat has raised 40 taxes and fees since taking office in 2007.
NEWS
July 16, 2012
Though state policy allows BGE to levy a small fee on consumers even when they don't have electricity (officially called a "bill stabilization adjustment"), it's easy to see why Marylanders are frustrated by it ("For frustrated BGE customers, even small bills too much," July 13th). Supposedly it is used to pay for the electricity grid. But in reality it is probably just another way for BGE to get money. Still, the Public Services Commission, under pressure from the consumer lobby, has limited such fees to the first day of a "major storm event.
NEWS
Thomas F. Schaller | May 29, 2012
In my previous column, I argued that American citizen-consumers seem far more likely to complain about government failures than about similar problems arising in the free market. Waste, fraud, inefficiency and other frustrations resulting from government action are considered endemic, yet similar patterns of failure in the private sector are discounted if not overlooked. Responding either by email to me directly or via letter to the editor, several readers protested that a key distinction I failed to acknowledge is that government is a monopoly that permits citizens no alternative, whereas pluralistic, competitive markets allow consumers to take their business elsewhere.
NEWS
January 12, 2012
Regarding your story on the legislative session that opens this week ("Big 'to do' list in Annapolis," Jan. 9): You gotta love House Speaker Michael Busch: He's so tenured, so entrenched and so oblivious to the nonsensicality of his own words when he says things like "I'm going to pass a tax increase," and "we're going to put people back to work. " His is a truly warped understanding of how a free market economy is supposed to function. To think that by taking ever more money from citizens the government can engineer sustainable economic growth is both presumptuous and doomed to failure.
NEWS
November 2, 2011
We all have legitimate grievances. Occupy Wall Street protesters do not deserve special government status that allows them to continuously occupy a public space in order to express them. Here is a list of my grievances: What are yours? 1. A lack of outrage over dysfunctional public schools that allow kids to graduate unprepared for work or for life. 2. Politicians who grant themselves full pensions after serving in their posts for a limited time. 3. Corporations that grant their executives excessive compensation packages without commensurate performance by their companies (GE and Fannie Mae are examples)
NEWS
By Norman Hawker and Robert Lande | May 16, 2011
The Department of Justice's antitrust case against Microsoft was one of the largest and most carefully watched in history. The courts ruled that Microsoft illegally maintained its monopoly of personal computer operating systems (OS). After years of oversight of a "behavioral remedy," the department's notoriously weak settlement with Microsoft expired Thursday. After the finding of liability and almost a decade of monitoring Microsoft's behavior, the net result has been to leave Microsoft pretty much where it started — with its Windows monopoly intact.
NEWS
By Donna E. Boller and Donna E. Boller,Staff writer | March 11, 1992
Capitalism reigned.Unhindered by antitrust laws, 100 students inDiane Ferary-James' introduction to business and keyboarding classesat Oakland Mills High set out yesterday to beat each other in cornering the real estate market.Unhampered by site-plan requirements, they put up rows of houses and hotels from St. James Place to Marvin Gardens, then waited for unlucky opponents to fork over the rent.The school's second annual Monopoly tournament completed the business classes' study of world economies.
NEWS
April 5, 2000
SHED NO TEARS for Bill Gates, now that a federal court has declared Microsoft a monopoly. Any punishment Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson conjures for the software giant will likely leave Mr. Gates richer or, at the very least, no worse off. The judge will have to find more creative solutions to help consumers damaged by Microsoft's practices. Mr. Gates is a little like Br'er Rabbit in this situation -- facing a penalty that might seem to anyone else like a joy. Break up Microsoft? Oh, no!
NEWS
By James A. Dorn | April 13, 2011
The Maryland Transit Administration is a legally mandated monopoly over mass transit that politicizes pricing, caters to public employee union pressure for increased wages and benefits, and outlaws competition. It was created in 1970 when it took over the Baltimore Transit Company, a privately owned firm. Today, the MTA's costs far outpace its revenues, burdening Maryland taxpayers with a deficit of more than $600 million. The General Assembly, in its sessions that ended this week, pushed the MTA to increase bus and MARC train fares so that they cover 35 percent of operating costs rather than the current 28 percent to 30 percent, an increase the O'Malley administration opposes.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Baltimore Sun reporters | April 7, 2010
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. launched his campaign to reclaim the job of Maryland governor on Wednesday, promising to balance the state budget without "gimmicks" and roll back a sales-tax increase enacted soon after he left office. Speaking to hundreds of enthusiastic supporters not far from the Arbutus rowhouse where he was raised, Ehrlich, a Republican, portrayed his single term that ended in 2007 as an era of economic growth and fiscal restraint that was undercut by Martin O'Malley, the Democrat who defeated him. "They spent beyond our means, and we spend within our budget," Ehrlich said.
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