September 5, 2007

The bright side of innovation

In Monty Pythonââ¬â¢s satirical Life of Brian an angry dissident demands: ââ¬ÅWhat have the Romans ever done for us?ââ¬Â A fellow plotter, innocently taking his question at face value, responds with a long list of Roman achievements, including aqueducts, roads, schools and, above all, public order ââ¬â in essence, all the trappings of a civilised society.
Perhaps Nicolas Sarkozy was confusing ancient Rome with the Treaty of Rome when the French president recently asked his Pythonesque question: what has competition ever done for us? With judgment due on September 17 in Microsoftââ¬â¢s appeal against the European Commissionââ¬â¢s $675m fine for alleged abuses of its dominant position in operating systems, it is a fitting time to take up his challenge.



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