The Corner

Microsoft

I’ve never been a big fan of antitrust legislation, particularly the way in which it operates in the EU. The Microsoft ‘case’ is a reminder why. Disgusting though it may be, the proposed fine itself, a ‘mere’ $600m, is not, I suppose, the real problem, given Microsoft’s balance sheet, but there really is something obnoxious about a ruling that envisages disrupting the operation of the marketplace in the way that it does. Writing in today’s FT (I can’t find a link), the Cato’s Robert Levy puts it beautifully: “Far from promoting consumer interests, the latest EU order transforms antitrust regulation into a corporate welfare programme for market losers.” He’s right. Mario Monti, the EU’s ironically-named ‘Competition’ Commissioner, is wrong.

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