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I know I shouldn’t, but the EU is beginning to make me wonder what they are playing at .. is it personal and how is it better for the people in the EU?

It is strange that I have come to accept that we live and work in a global economy quicker, it appears to me, than the EU.  I accept that we can’t be the best at everything in the EU and we have to work out what our value is to others – true for every business.

However, the EU seems to have an anti-non-EU feel to it.  It also seems to want to create competition, even when no-one wants to compete – just to stimulate the industries, rather than because “punters are asking for alternatives”.  This week I’ve seen two things that I wanted to share that raise concerns in my mind. Oh, in case you weren’t sure – this is a personal rant – nothing to do with anyone else but my own opinion!

First was the Intel vs AMD piece which talks about requiring Intel to raise prices to avoid being nabbed for anti-competitive practices - disco-tech | Discovery Institute's Technology Blog: EU vs. Intel :

Since Intel can't possibly know what AMD's cost of production is, we either have to accept collusion or accept that Intel will attempt to avoid further legal trouble by setting its prices in a safe zone, which is likely to be well above its costs. These are some of the reasons antitrust law doesn't protect less efficient firms, since to do so would saddle consumers with higher prices.
Competition law as practiced by the EU provides far more scope than our own antitrust jurisprudence for enforcers to intervene in the market in search of perfection. Yet Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes’ds summation of her own philosophy is consistent with our approach,

My own philosophy on this is fairly simple. First, it is competition, and not competitors, that is to be protected. Second, ultimately the aim is to avoid consumers harm.

Trouble is, the EU is trying to make Europe more competitive without making it more efficient

 

Then from InternetNews Realtime IT News – EU Parliament Member Wants to Ban Microsoft Bids I see that the competition has seen the EU as a way to attack Microsoft, rather than competing in a more traditional way.

Microsoft's ball and chain

One analyst said that even though Microsoft has been trying to put its past behind it ever since last summer's ruling, the shear tenacity of its opponents pretty much guarantees that the company will be dragging around this ball and chain for sometime to come.

"Microsoft has shown itself to be vulnerable, so people can get to them politically," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at researcher Enderle Group. The irony in this case, he said, is that the apparent intent is to continue to punish the company for behaviors that the EC agrees Microsoft has already stopped and, in fact, paid the two highest fines in EU history to settle.

"That's like delaying the punishment until after the person is no longer behaving badly," Enderle added. Still, be prepared for more of the same he cautioned. "This appears to be a successful way to attack the company, so I think we're going to be stuck with [these kinds of attacks]," Enderle added.

 

What I don’t see at the moment is evidence that the consumer and not the competition is being protected in Europe.

 

ttfn

David


Posted Fri, Apr 11 2008 4:43 PM by David Overton

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