Tag Archives: regulations

EU fines Microsoft (again) for continued anti-competition

By Leon J Williams

Web browsersThe European Union (EU) has ordered Microsoft to pay £484m for failing to allow consumers a choice in web browsers.

Back in 2004 Microsoft was fined £381m for the same reason after which Microsoft did start to offer consumers a choice but this web browser option screen was dropped following a Windows 7 update in February 2011.

Microsoft said that this was due to a technical error but the European Commission dismissed this and is no doubt using this opportunity to make an example of Microsoft so that no other company thinks that it can get away with not implementing fair anti-monopoly regulations.
This move can only be seen as a good thing, shoring up EU funds and and allowing other, smaller businesses an opportunity to thrive.

Myth
Supporters of Capitalism say that it creates competition and they criticise Socialism for stifling competition but alas closer to the truth is that Capitalism destroys competition by creating monopolies, companies buy other companies and put their products first.
It is regulation that stops this, it is government intervention.

Web Browsers
Towards the end of last year we wrote about web browsers here.

We recommend either Opera or Firefox

EU-US Free-trade agreement; everyone’s a winner!

By Leon J Williams

EU-US free-tradeFree-trade, that sounds good and everyone seems so happy at the news but what does it mean?

Free-trade really means no tax, so US and EU companies will be able to easily import and export without paying any ‘tariffs’ (taxes).

The real benefactors of this agreement will be large corporations, the markets will be happy!

For example, your local butcher (if you still have one) has nothing to gain from this, if they do import their meat it will likely come from within the EU and as such already part of a free-trade agreement and everything to lose. Large companies will have more money available to expand their businesses and continue to push out the little guy.

Less taxes means less money available for projects that help small to medium size enterprises (SME’s) both existing and start-ups.

Governments and big businesses will be happy but the rest of us not so much.

Unified regulations

This also sounds good in theory but will this be a compromise between US standards and EU standards, good for the US, bad for the EU. Why should we lower our standards to meet the US halfway?

What will happen over food safety over issues such as trans-fats?

What will happen over monopolising businesses such as Microsoft and Intel?

What will happen over the US’s lack of banking regulations?

This could spell disaster for Europe and a huge step forward for the US.