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If the phone company has a $10 phone or a $10,000 phone the benefit to the phone is exactly the same.

Yes, I understand. If you buy a $10 vase or a $1,000 vase, the benefit of using a credit card to purchase it is exactly the same: it allows the purchase. Yet the cost for the former is 30¢ and the cost for the latter is $30. This is a price-based-benefit, which is how the card companies have chosen to charge for their service. They could have chosen a $1 transaction fee for everything, but they didn't. Do you suppose an extended warranty costs the same for a Toyota as for a BMW? Why not? The reliability factors are almost identical.

Why does Microsoft charge an individual user more than a corporate user, and a corporate user more than an OEM for the identical piece of software?

Of course this issue is just one of the disputes, in fact it hardly merits a line in the summaries of all the charges and countercharges between the companies. Personally I think it's one of the weakest. Pricing by volume, or pricing by retail price isn't new. What wholesaler of an exclusive product hasn't thought to himself: well, the retailer has a 50% margin on this, so I can move up my price to him by a couple cents and he'll eat the difference. It's not quite as blatant, but it's not intrinsically different.
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