An Antitrust Division Run Amok (Letter to the Editor)

An Antitrust Division Run Amok (Letter to the Editor)

October 25, 1999
Originally published in The Washington Post

I would have happily signed a letter urging a cap on the Depart ment of Justice's Antitrust Division budget if I'd been asked [`Hardball and Windows," op-ed, Oct. 19].

Antitrust law is routinely exploited to forcibly transfer wealth from successful companies to less successful ones, which invites political rather than market entrepreneurship.. The result is that consumers pay more.

Ironically, in the perverse world of antitrust tinkering, increasing the Department of Justice's antitrust regulation budget could be best for. Microsoft. Washington has no shortage of lawyers eager to launch an equally excruciating and distracting case against Microsoft's biggest competitor, America Online. AOL quite ably "monopolizes" Internet access and portal services.

When that happens, we will defend AOL as well. But we would have preferred to see the DOJ budget cut instead.