Why the EU’s Microsoft Fine Is Self-Defeating

Penalizing Microsoft with a hefty fine is disturbing on several levels.

European Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.

In 2000, European leaders promised to turn the continent into "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world." What might have sounded once like an ambitious policy goal sounds today like a bad joke. But it does not have to be—the continent's troubles are completely self-inflicted. But if European policymakers decide to continue in their present course, there is even less hope that a new Microsoft will be started in a garage in Munich or Lyon.

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