European Union's Assault on Microsoft Is Immoral
By David Holcberg (South China Morning Post, April 13, 2004)
Once again Microsoft is being attacked for its success. This time the perpetrator is not the U.S. government but the European Union, which is demanding that Microsoft remove Media Player from Windows and pay a fine of $600 million. This is another unjustifiable assault on Microsoft's property rights. Microsoft, like any other company, should have the right to decide what features should or should not be included in its products.
The alleged justification for the European Union's assault on Microsoft is that it "has abused its virtual monopoly power" and engaged in "unfair" competition by making its Media Player an integral part of its operating system. But there is nothing abusive or unfair in taking advantage of one's earned market share to offer customers a better deal than the competition. In fact, the only thing that is abusive and unfair in this case is the European Union's use of force to penalize Microsoft in order to help its less efficient competitors.