NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If New Jersey is to be consistent and ban Tesla (TSLA) from selling products directly to the consumer, the legislature had better get busy. Yesterday the N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission voted to ban the electric car maker from directly selling its automobiles to the public in the state. The list of products being sold direct is long indeed.
Take for example Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT). Both have stores where they sell a long list of Apple and Microsoft products directly to the consumer. Would New Jersey be better if Apple and Microsoft couldn't have their own stores?
Let's say that Google (GOOG) wanted to open stores to compete with Apple and Microsoft. Would New Jersey seek to ban this attempt?
What about cellular communications services such as those offered by AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ), Sprint (S) and T-Mobile USA (TMUS)? They are currently sold by a maze of resellers, large diversified stores, online outlets and the cellular network companies themselves, directly. Should their direct sales be banned?
Every New Jersey voter knows at least two things:
1. Computer stores were always a major nightmare before the advent of Apple stores starting in 2001.
2. Car dealers remain a major shopping and service nightmare for the consumer today. Meanwhile, people love buying from Tesla directly.
Computer companies and cellular network operators have two things in common: They sell directly to the consumer, as well as through resellers. The customer can choose. Has this retarded growth in the computer and smartphone industries, or has it been a good thing for the consumer?