September 26, 2007

What's next for EU competition policy?

Author: JT Smith

Computers in the European Union should be sold without a bundled operating system, according to our new submission to the European Commission. It says that the bundling of Microsoft Windows with computers is not in the public interest, and prevents meaningful competition in the operating system market.

The submission comes days after the Commission won a court ruling supporting its existing antitrust action against Microsoft. The Institute argues that cheaper competitors are unable to benefit from their lower cost because consumers have already been forced to buy Windows. Windowsââ¬â¢ dominant position both has slowed technical improvements and has prevented new alternatives entering from the marketplace.

Operating systems, it says, are not a natural monopoly, requiring just one supplier. Instead, in a competitive market, there would be a broad compatibility between different supplierââ¬â¢s products. ââ¬ÅCompetition would encourage open standards and interoperability as vendors would, for competitive reasons, want their products to interact with other vendorsââ¬â¢ products,ââ¬Â the submission says.

Download report (PDF)



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