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Microsoft's Lessons for Google


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What the Microsoft case teaches us about antitrust and the power of Big Tech today.

Credit: Zipeng Zhu

My colleague Steve Lohr has seen almost everything in technology. And even he believes the power of Big Tech is like nothing he's seen before.

Steve's more than 20 years of writing about tech for The New York Times includes covering the U.S. government's antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, which started in 1998 and ended with a settlement in 2002.

Steve spoke with me about that case and the multiple government antitrust lawsuits filed in recent months against Facebook and Google, including a fresh Google antitrust case filed on Wednesday and another expected on Thursday. He said that 1990s Microsoft didn't have nearly the influence of today's tech superpowers.

Shira: What's similar about the Google and Facebook antitrust cases and the Microsoft one?

Steve: Many of the legal and business issues are similar. There's a notion that proving Google and Facebook hurt consumers will be tough because harm has mainly been defined as raising prices, and those companies' products are mostly free.

 

From The New York Times
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