Trading Business Suits for Lawsuits

The Economist concludes its report on the recent resolve between Microsoft and the European Commission with a revealing statement on further abuse of antitrust:

Microsoft wants to stop Google, which already rules much of online advertising, from dominating mobile advertising too. Microsoft, after being on the receiving end of antitrust action for a long time, has now taken up the weapon to use against its rivals.

Presumably, such a comment likewise references the Microsoft lobby against Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems — a purchase which Geoffrey Manne opines is “procompetitive.”

Perhaps it’s fitting to remind readers of Bastiat’s assertion:

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it & a moral code that glorifies it.

Do competition authorities have any concern for the precedent they establish? Are they aware of the perverse incentives which their initiatives so frequently warrant?

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One Response

  1. When did the basis of anti-trust issues in jurisprudence change from “preventing competition” to “preventing competition at the level your competitors deem financially satisfactory”?

    It’s not Google’s fault Microsoft joined the online advertising business way late in the game.

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