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Microsoft vs. European Union: Anti Competitive Behaviour or Competitive Advantage - Essay Example

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Microsoft vs. European Union: Anti-competitive Behaviour or Competitive Advantage? By Course Institution Date Microsoft vs. European Union: Anti-competitive Behaviour or Competitive Advantage? Introduction The theoretical basis of anti-competitive behaviour is to support the contention that consumers benefit from having choices among products on the market and competition is good for creativity and innovation (Canetti, 2004)…
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Microsoft vs. European Union: Anti Competitive Behaviour or Competitive Advantage
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Download file to see previous pages 2004) See also Case T-201/04, Microsoft Corp. v. Comm’n 2007 ). This paper analyses the EU’s decision in Microsoft v EU and its implications for EU’s anti-competitive policies and laws relative to whether or not anti-competitive laws and policies take precedence over the competitive advantage implicit in intellectual property rights. This paper is therefore divided into two parts. The first part of this paper sets out a brief description of the Microsoft v EU case and the second part of this paper analyses the court’s decision. Microsoft v EU In March 2004, the European Commission the EU’s executive body determined that Microsoft’s combining of Windows Media Player with Windows was a violation of Article 82 of the EC Treaty as amended in 2006, known as “tying case” (Ahlborn & Evans, 2009, p. 2). The Commission also found that Microsoft had violated the EU’s anti-trust laws by virtue of work group server operating system which essentially amounted to a refusal to supply information (Commission decision relating to a proceeding under Article 82 of the EC Treaty, Case COMP/C 3/37.792 (24 Mar. 2004)). ...
Thus communications between the operating systems in personal computers and in the server are pivotal for interoperability to work. Microsoft’s competitors need the interoperating information and software so that they can develop server operating systems which can communicate with the Microsoft Windows, the dominant personal computer’s software. Sun Microsystems lodged a complaint alleging that Microsoft’s refusal to disclose the necessary interoperability information amounted to anti-trust behaviour Commission decision relating to a proceeding under Article 82 of the EC Treaty, Case COMP/C 3/37.792 (24 Mar. 2004). The Commission, having found Microsoft guilty of anti-competitive behaviour fined Microsoft up to 497.2 million Euros with daily fines accumulating when Microsoft did not entirely adopt the remedies directed by the Commission (Vives, 2010). Microsoft appealed with a final judgment given by the ECJ’s Court of First Instance (CFI) which essentially confirmed the Commission’s decision (Case T-201/04, Microsoft Corp. v. Comm’n 2007 ECR 11-3601 (CFI Decision 2007)). Case Analysis Ultimately, the question was whether intellectual property rights conferred upon the registered owner a competitive advantage or exploitation of that advantage was anti-competitive behaviour. Thus the tensions between intellectual property rights and fair competition were tested in the Microsoft v EU case (Graham, 2008).Under EU law, anti-competitive behaviour centres on collusion and exploitation or abuse of a dominant market position to such an extent that it amounts to a monopoly (EC Treaty 2006, Article 82). Microsoft argued that its intellectual property rights conferred it upon it the right to guard and exploit its property for its own advancement. The Commission ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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