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Blog

    The bureaucrats of Brussels against Microsoft

    03/01/2007

    Reuters reported today,

    "The European Commission warned Microsoft on Thursday it faced further fines in its antitrust case for seeking unreasonable prices from software makers for interoperability information.

    The latest formal charges could lead to new fines against the U.S. software giant, the Commission said in a statement."

    If Microsoft does not reply to the commission's statement of objections within four weeks, it may face a penalty every day until it does so. As Ronald Reagan once famously quipped, "There you go again."

    Europeans must decide if they want the bureaucrats of Brussels shaking down the private sector or if they want growth, investment and innovation.

    Asian and Eastern European counterparts are good examples of how EU member countries can grow their economies. These regions continue to offer a more business-friendly environment, and many are making the EU and the United States look behind the times by leading the way on implementing a flat tax system.

    Antitrust enforcement is a tricky business, fraught with the perils of competitor-driven results. Consumer welfare should lead the way for analysis and we know consumer welfare is produced by free market processes not planning and economic regulation. As to the charges, it seems to me that any consumer that saw an "unreasonable price" would take his business elsewhere, which would be punishment enough for Microsoft or any other firm. If only the bureaucrats of Brussels were open to the logic of the market.