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Re: Take No Comfort

  If you are right ....and there are at least a few credible people who would agree
  with you .....
  then the interesting question arises as to why DGIV would NOT take action. After
  all, are consumer welfare and competitiveness in Europe not worth fighting for?
  The EC Commission went after NutraSweet (an American company with about a 99%
  market share in artificial sweeteners at the time), for example,  with some vigour
  several years ago, even though the European interests involved were relatively
  extremely  small as I recall (nothing like Boeing v. Airbus). It seems to me that
  one of the issues is that  European interests may forever remain small as long as
  the attitude you suggest prevails, assuming this to be the case.
  Are there any vulnerable areas of European dominance in the USA upon which the US
  DOJ might retaliate if DGIV were to get aggressive on Microsoft?
  Miguel Moura e Silva wrote:
  > 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
  > ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  > --
  Howard Knopf
  Perley-Robertson, Panet, Hill & McDougall
  90 Sparks St.
  Ottawa, Canada
  Phone: 613-566-2820 or
  E-Mail: knopfh@perlaw.ca,hknopf@magmacom.com
  WebSite: http://www.perlaw.ca