The European Commission vs. Microsoft

Published 22 Feb 2010
Reference 5658
Region Europe
Summary

The 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 for tying its own Windows Media Player to its PC software and for refusing to disclose information required by other providers for them to be able to link their software to Microsoft's.

Teaching 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.

Keywords
  • Microsoft
  • European Commission
  • European Union
  • Competition/anti-trust policy
  • Interoperability
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Media players
  • European Court
  • RD0110
  • AR2010
  • AR0910
  • IAF 09/10
  • IAF 2520503
  • European Competitiveness Initiative
  • European Competitiveness
  • Europe
  • Government and Policy