Why has convicted monopoly abuser Microsoft avoided scrutiny while openly supporting actions against Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google, and ducking rules being established in new U.S. antitrust bills?
Much to the exasperation of Apple Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc, Microsoft and its president, Brad Smith, has publicly supported antitrust actions against them to gain a competitive advantage, sources close to both companies told MarketWatch. This prompted Apple’s vocal criticism of Microsoft during the Epic Games Inc.’s antitrust trial against the iPhone maker.
Now, insiders at Google, Amazon.com Inc., and Facebook Inc. are increasingly claiming Microsoft has hypocritically presented itself as the White Knight of tech, unsullied by the anticompetitive behavior of Big Tech. All four companies under federal investigation — Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook — declined to speak on the record. But representatives from all four emphatically made it clear to MarketWatch that Microsoft is overplaying the antitrust card to make up ground in key technology areas such as mobile and gaming where Microsoft has lagged behind its rivals.
Microsoft’s diversionary tactics were called into question last week during markup of a package of sweeping antitrust bills designed to rein in Big Tech. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., claimed on the House floor that an early draft of the bills that would have covered Microsoft was rewritten to have the company carved out. Original versions of the draft bills, he pointed out, defined “online platform” as including “operating systems” while the amended versions that were introduced and approved define “online platform” to only include “mobile operating systems.”
This would mean Windows is not a covered platform under the bills.
Rep. David Cicilline, chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees antitrust, emphatically denied any bill was changed to exclude Microsoft and that the company did not have access to early copies… Cicilline did not respond to email messages seeking additional comments on the changes, and on his political contributions of more than $5,000 from Microsoft President Brad Smith.
MacDailyNews Take: Follow the money.