Discussing this FB post :
How does the market stop companies from using force? For example, how would the market prevent an asteroid mining company with first-mover advantage to use the threat of orbital bombardment to keep it's competitors down?
Only coercive monopolists in the field of the use of force can afford to act without contracts and without the consent of their "customers".
An asteroid company that would behave like this would be ostracized by all other market participants, customers, NGOs. No one would behave this way - for the same reason that McDonalds does not raid Burger King stores. Throughout history, there have been a lot of companies with First Mover Advantage. The scenario you describe has never occurred - unless the state was involved.
We can imagine a private company inventing wunderwaffe and blackmailing everyone.
Then it becomes a coercive monopolist like the government.
Someone may say "but government has checks and balances in place".
But then what prevents a group inside the government to blackmail everyone else and usurp power once they have wunderwaffe?
Checks and balances within a democratic country work only because of voting is a close approximation of a civil war without actual bloodshed. And in case voting system worked in a seriously corrupt way, there is a revolution and civil war with one gun per person.
And if someone, in the government or not, had the wunderwaffe, then there are no checks and balances because the people who control it have the ability to win the civil war.
I'd say with government it is even worse because they already have the infrastructure and culture for institutialised coercion.