Why are European second rank clients of American corporations?
For now I choose to do this blog anonymously - not that I really plan to write anything that I have to hide. On the other hand I might one day choose to criticize some Taliban chieftain or even worse in my agnostic ignorance come to criticize some deity, its prophets or its disciple. And I would rather not have Jihad or other holy wars (oxymoron!) at my doorstep. Just see what is happening in Denmark now after a newspaper invited 12 people to draw Mohammed (fjordman, look for article Holy War Against Danish Newspaper, also see Danish PMs comment on protest for ambassadors)
Anyway, I digress. To be anonymous I created a hotmail email account: firstname.lastname@example.org (please send me nice emails).
And I noticed what you often notice as an European. Hotmail gives 250MB account space to an American (US only?) and 2MB to an European. That is one huge difference.
It is symptomatic, though. American corporations count Europeans as second rank clients.
Try to find a site where say a Portuguese resident can pay to download a popular song. Itunes? Through windows media player? Forget it. It is not possible. Unless you have a credit card address in the US.
Try to get access to a discount from say www.microsoft.com to buy some software. Sorry - only for Americans (Microsoft, I am sooo sorry for that fine the EU gave you...)
Not only that. When we Europeans finally find some American corporation that want second rank clients, then we pay extra - even double at times. The price is higher numeric wise. Say 100 will be 130 here. Not dollars, but Euros! On top of that we pay VAT.
But for the VAT I do blame the American corporations.
There are numerous other examples. DVD region code harassment. Not accepting credit cards from some European member countries - we talk Western Europe here. Not being able to enter an European postal code (notice to American business men: In Europe we hardly ever use American zip-codes). I could go on and on.
I will give you a prediction though. Americans control the Internet for now. But I think it will not last. When we second rank European clients get an European business alternative I believe the American Corporation will find out what elephant customer memory is like.
By the way, there are some few exceptions. For example: I am a on-line subscriber to the New York Times. It is free for Europeans. Probably because we will not/can not buy many American newspapers anyway. But still - nice! We second rank world citizens will know to appreciate such companies in the future.
Conclusion: Marketwise the Internet is still a local market.
(why can't I get spell check in blogger to not only find spelling mistakes but also correcting the mistake?)