Microsoft Agrees to Help Europeans Pick a Browser

E-Commerce Times discusses the European Commissions antitrust case against Microsoft with Wayne Crews. 

"Microsoft never had any power to prevent choice at all," Wayne Crews, vice president for policy and director of technology studies with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told the E-Commerce Times. "The whole thing was based on the pretense that Microsoft could stop competition and consumer choice."

When discipline is provided competitively, a company like Microsoft "has upstream suppliers, downstream partners, Wall Street, the global investment community, advertisers, consumers and new technologies arrayed entirely against it when it misbehaves," said Crews.

"In that kind of climate, Microsoft never had the ability to prevent anyone from choosing a browser any more than it does to prevent you from choosing any other software," he pointed out.

The Internet "is rampant with choice," he added, so "I don't think these authorities had any kind of proconsumer role to play."

Rather, "it's competitors who are always bringing these suits," he said, and later, they inevitably "find out they're in the crosshairs too."
ltimately, antitrust should be a resource only for consumers, Crews opined, suggesting "a great reform would be to deny [competitors] standing."

Other companies are "making themselves more vulnerable to political predation by their endorsement of this action against Microsoft," maintained Crews. In other words, "by going along with this kind of suit, they asked for it."

Read the full article at E-Commerce Times