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Bring It On

There's nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. In fact, it's what some entrepreneurs live for.

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This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The fresh-faced teenager in the McDonald's commercial mightbe smiling and seem friendly, but fast-food legend oncesaid, "If I ever saw a competitor drowning, I'd put a livefire hose in his mouth."

Don't judge the late Ray Kroc too harshly. He was speakingof an age-old tradition. Entrepreneurs have always trounced thecompetition, and it hasn't always been pretty. in the 1800s,John D. Rockefeller made Standard Oil company into a ,controlling 90 percent of the oil market, by negotiating secretrebates with railroads, bribing Congressmen and committingindustrial espionage. About the same time, in England, the UnitedKingdom Telegraph Company hired men to cut down the poles of itsrival, Electric Telegraph Company. As that century closed,newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst helped start theSpanish-American War to sell newspapers and crush his .More recently, Microsoft has been in the facing accusations ofusing unfair practices in an attempt to build its ownmonopoly.

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