Still At Risk: Companies That Are Too Successful

Competition Policy and Antitrust

Article Snapshot

Author(s)

Robert W. Hahn

Source

AEI-Brookings Joint Center Policy Matters 01-28, 2001

Summary

This paper looks at what happens when public policy punishes success.

Policy Relevance

Regulators will slow growth if they target any big successful firm at the behest of its rivals, without asking if consumers are hurt.

Main Points

  • Microsoft’s rivals Sun Microsystems (servers) and Netscape (browsers) urged antirust authorities to take action against Microsoft.

 

  • The government never asked whether Microsoft had hurt consumers by raising prices or slowing innovation, the harm that monopolies supposedly do.

 

  • Successful economic players are likely to become political targets, delaying further growth through long regulatory and legal proceedings.

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