The EU's Antitrust Lessons for the US
By Zach Meyers  |  Mar 24, 2022
The EU's Antitrust Lessons for the US
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While the European Union’s courts and legislative processes will moderate the European Commission’s hardline instincts, the United States, with its newfound antitrust zeal, risks banning corporate conduct and deals that help consumers. Consequently, big businesses wanting moderate and stable competition policy may have to look to Brussels rather than Washington.

LONDON - United States corporate giants often criticize the European Commission’s (EC) aggressive competition policy, claiming it protects inefficient European firms. Meanwhile, they applaud America’s laissez-faire antitrust policies, which regard market dominance as a reward for success and have aided the development of today’s US megafirms, especially in the tech sector.

With US President Joe Biden’s administration seeking to boost competition in order to reduce what it views as excessive corporate consolidation, this may be about to change. The risk is that, rather than tweaking an antitrust regime that has mostly served the US well, Biden may go too far in reforming it. US big business may therefore find that, in the long run, the European Union’s (EU) competition policy ends up being more predictable and reasonable than that of the US.

Consider how the EU and US authorities currently regulate anti-competitive conduct by dominant firms. The EC, already tough, is getting even stricter - but there are checks and balances to prevent it from going too far.

The EC is increasingly concerned about , e.g., large tech firms leveraging their most-used services to support less-used ones - as Microsoft does when it uses Windows to promote its search engine, Bing. Although these practices can give big firms huge advantages over smaller competitors, they are not necessarily anti-competitive. While Bing has a small market share, it is the only meaningful 

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