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Re: Take No Comfort

  Miguel, I recently (last week) met with DG IV over Microsoft.  One
  document that seems relevant to the MS case is the 1984 IBM
  understaking.  Do you know where this would be on the Web?
  Miguel Moura e Silva wrote:
  > At 20:21 97/12/17, charles mueller wrote:
  > >
  > >        Then there's the news today that a handful of our 50 state attorneys
  > >general-- and the EU, Japan, etc.--are looking at Microsoft's monopoly.
  > >Forget it.  (...)
  > >        More enlightened antimonopoly policy in the EU, Japan, Australia,
  > >etc.?  On the contrary, of the 60 plus countries with antitrust statutes on
  > >the books, virtually none enforces even its most elementary anti-cartel
  > >provisions:  Corporate thievery by collusion on price, for example, is a way
  > >of life in all of them.  Bust up a real- world monopoly in Europe, Japan,
  > >South Korea, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, and so on?  Of
  > >course not.  Monopoly pulls in the money and, with the big bucks, one can
  > >buy 'antitrust protection' in all of the 200 countries around the globe.
  > >
  > >
  > I have to disagree with you in the principle regarding EC competition law.
  > In my view EC competition doctrines are quite adequate to tackle the
  > Microsoft practices. The problem regarding its enforcement in this case is
  > a political one. The EC Comission competition directorate (DGIV) seems
  > unlikely to do much more than just mimick whatever the DOJ does. This is
  > what happened regarding the Microsoft I case where Microsoft's undertakings
  > accepted by DGIV merely reproduce the US consent decree. Cooperation
  > between the DOJ and DGIV in this case apparently aimed at a consistent
  > approach, that is to say, EC law doctrines could not be applied if they
  > would reach a result inconsistent with that of the DOJ. The heart of the
  > matter is that this is a US dispute. I don't see the European Commission as
  > being ready go on the war path over this (as it did in the Boeing case
  > where European PRODUCER interests were at stake). Any likely rivals of
  > Microsoft are American and CONSUMER protection arguments are not enough to
  > force DGIV to act.
  > Actually, I believe that US policy regarding Microsoft can be seen as an
  > example of strategic trade policy on the part of the US, as consumer
  > exploitation at home is arguably compensated by domination of the world
  > softare industry.
  > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  > Miguel Moura e Silva
  > Assistant Professor of Law - University of Lisbon Law School
  > e-mail: miguelsilva@mail.telepac.pt
  > Work:
  > Universidade de Lisboa
  > Faculdade de Direito
  > Alameda da Universidade
  > 1699 Lisboa Codex
  > Portugal
  > ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  > --
  James Packard Love
  Consumer Project on Technology
  P.O. Box 19367 | Washington, DC 20036 
  voice 202.387.8030  | fax 202.234.5176 
  love@cptech.org | http://www.cptech.org