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International business dispute could impact competition

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2015 | Business Litigation

Despite the fact that there are a huge number of tech developers on the market, most Florida residents could count the number of leading competitors on one hand. Names like Microsoft, Apple and Google dominate the scene, prompting some to raise serious questions and concerns over unfair competition and other business law issues. Now, the European Union is pursuing antitrust claims against one technology giant, potentially playing its own role in market competition along the way.

In 1999, Microsoft dominated the international tech market, with the Microsoft Windows program installed on around 90 percent of all desktop computers sold. As a result, federal regulators accused Microsoft of unfair competition. Microsoft was found to have forced competitors like IBM and Apple out of the market with deceptive practices. Microsoft argued, however, that efforts to bundle its services were intended to serve customers and ease access to the Internet. In hindsight, some argue that the intervention of regulators contributed to Microsoft’s decline of market power and the ultimate growth of other competitors.

Now, many are suggesting that a similar scenario could play out with Google, as competition regulators with the European Union are accusing the corporation of breaking antitrust laws. Google is accused of placing its services above those of its competitors’ on vertical search engines. Beyond that, the tech company allegedly improves its services by copying the content of others.

EU regulators claim that Google is stifling competition by bundling its services, but Google argues that doing so serves in the best interest of consumers. As a result, some argue that the EU’s intervention may influence the market once again.

Source: New York Times, “Case Against Google May Be Undercut by Rapid Shifts in Tech,” Farhad Manjoo, April 15, 2015