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Competitors Have "Incentive to Misuse the Government to Obtain an Advantage"



(p. A15) Today's technology behemoth risks becoming tomorrow's dinosaur, and competitors sometimes plead for government intervention to obtain what they fail to achieve in the market. As a former head of a competition agency, I offer . . . principles to guide competition policy toward successful innovators.

. . . , be wary of competitor complaints. When a competitor tells government that its rival acts unfairly, the complaint should be viewed with great suspicion. Competitor complaints are driving recent EU investigations into companies that include Qualcomm, Google, Oracle and IBM. Competitors can provide valuable information about marketplace realities, but they have every incentive to misuse the government to obtain an advantage that is otherwise unattainable.


. . .


. . . , don't create disincentives for innovation. Complaining competitors often want innovators to be forced to share the source of their success, regardless of intellectual property rights. Nothing could be more destructive to the incentives for future innovation than rules that prevent innovators from reaping the full benefits of their work. As a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court said in its 2004 Verizon v. Trinko decision, "[f]irms may acquire monopoly power by establishing an infrastructure that renders them uniquely suited to serve their customers."



For the full commentary, see:

TIMOTHY J. MURIS. "Antitrust in a High-Tech World; The first rule of regulators should be to be wary of complaints from competitors.." The Wall Street Journal (Tues., August 12, 2010): A15.

(Note: ellipses added.)






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