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The European Commission vs. Microsoft

Author: Webber, Douglas ; Barthon de Montbas, AlexandreINSEAD Area: Economics and Political SciencePublisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 2010.Language: EnglishDescription: 21 p.Type of document: INSEAD CaseNote: Latest version available via https://publishing.insead.eduAbstract: This case describes a protracted conflict between the Competition Directorate-General of the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, and the giant American computer software company Microsoft, which resulted in the Commission imposing heavy fines on Microsoft for anti-competitive behaviour, that is, tying its own Windows Media Player to its PC software and refusing to disclose information required by other providers for them to be able to link their software to that of Microsoft.Pedagogical Objectives: The objectives of the case are to portray the range of competition/anti-trust policy powers of the European Commission; show how the Commission uses these powers in practice; discuss the issues and dilemmas facing companies investigated for alleged anti-competitive behaviour; and explore how they may deal with the Commission with a view to minimizing the probability of being found guilty and fined.
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Latest version available via <a href=https://publishing.insead.edu>https://publishing.insead.edu</a>

This case describes a protracted conflict between the Competition Directorate-General of the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, and the giant American computer software company Microsoft, which resulted in the Commission imposing heavy fines on Microsoft for anti-competitive behaviour, that is, tying its own Windows Media Player to its PC software and refusing to disclose information required by other providers for them to be able to link their software to that of Microsoft.

The objectives of the case are to portray the range of competition/anti-trust policy powers of the European
Commission; show how the Commission uses these powers in practice; discuss the issues and dilemmas facing
companies investigated for alleged anti-competitive behaviour; and explore how they may deal with the
Commission with a view to minimizing the probability of being found guilty and fined.

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