Microsoft’s European Experience Troubling for Other U.S. Companies

Competition Policy and Antitrust

Article Snapshot


Stephen Haber, F. Scott Kieff and Troy Paredes


San Jose Mercury News, March 15, 2007, p. 12A


This op-ed looks at the European Union’s case against Microsoft.

Policy Relevance

When competition policy gives officials broad discretion, abuses are likely, and harm growth and trade.

Main Points

  • The European Union’s economic case against Microsoft was very weak, and had no reasonable justification.

  • This suggests that European competition authorities used competition law as a pretext for “shaking down” Microsoft.

  • Such actions benefited the regulators by enhancing their reputations and/or made their agency more important.

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