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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Friday, June 29, 2007

Microsoft to Google: Learn from our antitrust lesson
A Microsoft attorney says the company has learned how to deal with antitrust regulators and that Google could glean a thing or two from the experience.

Marshall Phelps, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, said that if Microsoft had negotiated sooner with the US Department of Justice, it might have avoided further trouble. The company has had a running battle with regulators for more than a decade, and in 2002, it signed a landmark settlement with the federal government that called for more stringent oversight of the company's practices.

"Had Microsoft been a little quicker to give in on this, that and the other, [it] wouldn't be in the same pickle," Phelps said.

Phelps, who spoke at the Red Herring East conference here, said "one of the problems companies get into [is] when they don't realise how powerful they are and how powerful they are perceived as being". He then directed his comments at Google, one of Microsoft's main rivals in online search and applications.

"Google is going to face the regulatory burdens that Microsoft faced. It's going to be legislation by bad example. Something awful is going to happen, and legislators will run off and draft something that deals with privacy issues," Phelps said.
I couldn't agree more. Google will absolutely find itself talking to regulators in the days ahead.

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