Saturday, March 03, 2007

Microsoft Threatened with New Fines by the European Commission: What American Law Should NOT Learn from European Law

We just posted at LawPundit about:

1) the fact that the European Commission some time ago fined Microsof for alleged anti-trust activities and that it had threatened to continue to fine Microsoft several million dollars a day until it opened up its proprietary software to European companies; and

2) the fact that the German government recently expressed great misgivings about the non-transparent non-democratic anonymous legislative and ruling role that the European Commission plays in the current government of Europe.

We now read today in Business Week in an article by Raf Casert out of Brussels, Belgium that Europe threatens new Microsoft fines through the European Commission.

One legal institution that no one in America ever wants to emulate is the European Commission, sadly designed on the basis of greatly inadequate French governmental models, which is an anonymous collection of serendipity bureaucrats that has taken to governing the European Union in a style reminiscent of the old oligarchies of Russia under the motto : we decide, you obey. Democracy is not a word that the European Commission understands and we predict that its non-democratic nature will be its downfall down the road, as we expect the European Parliament to ultimately take over many jobs that the European Commission does today.

As Casert writes, the rule of law does not appear to be a strength at the EU Commission:

"Ronald Cass, chairman of the Washington-based Center for the Rule of Law, said the EU "has taken another step toward turning successful businesses into regulated utilities."

"The Commission's new effort, if pursued, will undermine innovation and take Europe further away from the sort of predictable, stable, sensible legal rules that define the rule of law," Cass said." [link added by LawPundit]

And further....

"Microsoft is challenging the EU's 2004 antitrust ruling -- which resulted in the order to share code and information with rivals at reasonable prices -- at the EU's Court of First Instance. A decision is expected sometime this summer." [link added by LawPundit]

Whatever the decision of that Court, the problem of the European Commission remains, not only for foreign governments and corporations dealing with the European Union, but also for the Europeans themselves, who have created a monster that no one wants, and no one really knows what to do about, yet.

Crossposted to LawPundit.

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