Thursday, June 21, 2012
Google, in the Aftermath of Microsoft and Intel: The Right Approach to Antitrust Enforcement in Innovative High Tech Platform Markets?
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Fernando Diez, University of Antonio de Nebrija asks Google, in the Aftermath of Microsoft and Intel: The Right Approach to Antitrust Enforcement in Innovative High Tech Platform Markets?
ABSTRACT: Antitrust enforcement efforts both in Europe and the United States have recently increased in number of actions taken and the amount of fines imposed in high-tech industries. Recent decisions in this field have rekindled in-depth and largely unresolved debates concerning the appropriate role of antitrust enforcement in such markets. As it happened with Microsoft and Intel, and it’s expected to happen soon against closely related companies – in terms of business model- such as Google, enforcement efforts in both sides of the Atlantic raise the same fundamental issues concerning the effectiveness of competition policy in dynamically competitive industries. The debate is the same, although, as we shall see, the results are totally different outcomes. This sort of high tech markets are usually characterised for a heavy reliance in ICT (information and communication technologies), the importance of product design and the development of platforms. Question is, does current antitrust enforcement in these specific markets achieve its goal of fostering competition or rather the undesired effect of chilling innovation?