Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

The Limits of Antitrust Metaphors

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I had not spoted this before, but this is a good one. To describe the practices at the heart of the  Microsoft II case – the recently settled alleged abusive tying of Internet Explorer with Windows OS – N. Kroes declared that MSFT’s conduct is:

As if you went to the supermarket and they only offered you one brand of shampoo on the shelf, and all the other choices are hidden out the back, and not everyone knows about them. What we are saying today is that all the brands should be on the shelf“.

The problem here? This colourful metaphor entirely misses its purpose. Rather than conveying the message that there was a competition problem in the market, it stresses that the issue primarily pertains to (poor) consumer information.

Written by Nicolas Petit

22 January 2010 at 7:26 pm

Posted in Case-Law

One Response

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  1. […] developed in Boudin’s “Antitrust and the Sway of Metaphor“. A while ago Nicolas wrote about the limits of antitrust metaphors, and now @Berlaymonster (a good reason to have Twitter) has spotted an antitrust/airplane metaphor […]

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