CyberTech Rambler

October 9, 2009

Give EC time on Microsoft Antitrust

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 7:10 am

Groklaw is carrying a story that EC is going to trial Microsoft’s self-proposed remedy on browser monopoly case. While PJ thinks it is potentially a waste of time, I am willing to give EC a try.

Why? The purpose of the trial is to find out whether the browser choice can work. Microsoft thinks it can, others apparently unsure. Me? Not sure. Therefore EC says lets try it out. That is the correct response. It makes it easier, if the antitrust case goes to appeal, Microsoft is bound to raise this issue if EC decided to reject it.

Compared to US Justice Department, EC’s antitrust division looks more technically savvy. The appeal process also appears to behave differently from the US process, with the appeal court judging whether the EC is acted legally and if so, to trust the EC taken the correct decision while in the US it looks more like a full review of the case, including the lower court’s judgement. This is a major consideration for me giving EC a try.

From another unrelated article, I was informed that the current crop of EC commissioners is nearing the end of their appointment (five years). Looking at Commissioner Kroes biography, she took office in 2004, meaning it is very likely she is going to leave office soon. It is perfectly possible that the EC chosen this course of action to (1) make sure that the decision to act on the browser case is followed through, rather than leaving it in limbo for the next commissioner (2) to make use of the transitional period between commissioners and to give the next commissioner time to catch up on the issue.

PJ sees it as a delaying tactics. It is possible. As I had said, the current commissioner is leaving office soon. If Microsoft, like any other companies in its position, thinks that it can get a better deal with the next commissioner, it will try. After all, the incoming Bush (junior) administration saved Microsoft from being broken up.


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