Thank you, Jeremy Latham
The European Commission told Microsoft yesterday to play nice with the neighborhood kids, but don’t think that the Apples and Intels of the world weren’t watching as Microsoft was punished. For if there’s a theme or message big companies are taking away from the ruling it’s this—getting too big, running a business too effectively may draw the wrath of the Europeans. And that doesn’t please investors.
Microsoft (and the U.S. Department of Justice) looks at the court ruling as a license to stifle innovation. Why should it bother to develop software for Windows when the EC will force it to include its competitors’ as well? (Yes, yes, that’s a gross simplification, but you get the point.)
Other companies should be alert. Who’s to say Brussels won’t want to go after Apple because of its dominance in the digital music industry? And what about Intel? How many PCs use Intel processors? Let’s go after Starbucks while we’re at it. You can’t walk around New York without seeing some dude in a really tight shirt that says SLAVE. (Maybe we should just ban hipsters, but that’s another post for another blog.)
I don’t know, I guess Microsoft and other large corporations are concerned about antitrust legislation ruining their ability to turn a profit.
Like a DoJ official said, consumer welfare should be antitrust’s raison d’être not helping companies stay competitive with each other.
Microsoft Ruling May Bode Ill for Other Companies [New York Times]