Free the Capacitors!

This story is related to the Starz story below.

Again, like Starz, it might seem inconsequential to your life.

But it’s not.

I know a little bit about these “capacitors” whose price was supposedly rigged. This is a ridiculous charge. It might be true but who cares? These electrical components cost pennies! They contribute a tiny fraction to the price of consumer electronics.

These aren’t specialized military or aerospace components which might cost a lot. These are off-the-shelf technology. These electrical components cost pennies! They contribute a tiny fraction to the price of consumer electronics.

Isn’t the usual complaint not that electronics are expensive but that they are ridiculously cheap? Part of that reason is the dirt-cheap electronic subassemblies made up of bargain basement parts like capacitors. Nobody’s being ripped off or forced to buy overpriced parts. These capacitors can be bought by the truckloads and there’s no shortage of makers. They are not anywhere close to being the most expensive part in any electronic device.

The companies pleaded guilty to save themselves the legal costs of fighting this (much like most of us will ‘plead guilty’ to a simple speeding or parking ticket to save ourselves the trouble of paying a lawyer or taking off from work to fight the ticket.

The charges were pursued by the Dept. of Justice’s San Francisco office so you can bet that some Silicon Valley companies pushed DOJ on this. Dig down and you might find those companies are going to cut a deal with the capacitor manufacturers to cut a fraction of a penny off the next load of capacitors.Oh, and guaranteed they contribute to the Democrat party.

Whatever, this is a waste of taxpayer dollars, a sign that government is way too big, micromanaging too many things it has no business overseeing and that the DOJ has too much time on its hands and too many people.

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