Justice in boycotts
Summary: Juridical oddity acts against and in favour of Microsoft, whose abuses go largely unpunished for
A READER has sent us a pointer to this article from Bloomberg. The news is reassuring because it indicates that the US Department of Justice — or Department of ‘Justice’ as Richard Stallman would rather call it for good reasons [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] — is willing to make appointments of people who understand Microsoft’s history of crime and master reasons for breaking the company apart through direct government intervention.
Economist Carl B. Shapiro, who endorsed the Clinton administration’s plan to break up Microsoft Corp. as an expert witness, has rejoined the U.S. Justice Department as the antitrust division’s chief economist, people familiar with the appointment said.
Can Shapiro counter influence from Microsoft cronies like Barnett, Vassallo (in Europe), and maybe even Christine Varney? One reader tells us that “Shapiro is an influential industrial economist but as many of his colleagues he has a flexibility.”
“Watch who the Financial Times has just given its platform, from which to attack the European Commission and defend Microsoft.”Says another person: “Morgan Stanley put out a research note reducing their earnings expectations for Microsoft. The note said that the PC industry was going to be down dramatically in 2009 and Microsoft wasn’t going to sell as much. Financial message boards bemoaned the negative impact this had on MSFT, which was one of the few losers in an otherwise broad stock rally. If the research hypothesis were the only driver, then we would expect that the major PC manufacturers, including AAPL, DELL, HP, (and perhaps IBM in sympathy) would all be down, yet all rallied as much as the broader market. This contrary motion suggests that the idea of an actual enforcer in DOJ, not the reasons given in the Microsoft downgrade, is what’s behind Microsoft’s stock tumble.”
As we noted before, Richard Waters in the Financial Times constantly defends Microsoft. The New York Times is similar in that respect (denialists galore) and so is IDG (IDC). Watch who the Financial Times has just given its platform, from which to attack the European Commission and defend Microsoft. The disclosure at the very bottom says. (emphasis is ours)
Richard A. Epstein is the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law, at the University of Chicago, the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, and a visiting professor at New York University Law School. He has consulted from time to time with Microsoft.
So, in essence, he apparently has Microsoft money inside his pockets and now he writes in a distinguished journal to peddle the company’s defence. Need it be said again that Microsoft controls media outlets? █