Wednesday 24 March 2004

EU vs US over Microsoft

This is going to be interesting. The European Union is one of the few bodies that can go against the steam roller of US trade policies and offer a different interpretation of  WTO rules. The new battleground is the antitrust rulings against Microsoft and at least one senator is upset:

"For some time now, the United States Congress has expressed its frustration over the European Union's intransigence on international trade issues that are vitally important to the U.S. economy," Frist said in a statement. "From over- reaching attempts to regulate e-commerce, to trade barriers against American beef and other agricultural products, the E.U. has relentlessly pursued protectionist policies that disproportionately harm American businesses and workers."

The irony is incredible given how often and how badly, America has engaged in protectionist measures. Steel? Corporate subsidies? Agriculture? And they want to shove GM food down our throat with no choice! But the Microsoft case is not so much about trade but about different legal interpretations and most critically, it's about what Microsoft can and cannot put into it's operating system.

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