John Lopatka on Competition in Cloud Licensing
Whether Microsoft’s behavior runs afoul of U.S. antitrust law is a complicated matter, said Penn State law professor John Lopatka. If Microsoft is using its power in the OS and productivity suite markets to drive companies away from competing cloud providers, that could be considered an anticompetitive practice. However, Lopatka cautioned against drawing conclusions based on the harm to Microsoft’s competitors. The possibility that the conduct is anticompetitive does not necessarily mean it is anticompetitive, he said.
“What should be clear is that the antitrust laws in this country are concerned with the welfare of consumers, not rivals,” he said.
It remains to be seen how the U.S. government will respond to the issue. There has been heightened scrutiny on tech firms in recent days, and Lopatka said he believes regulators will take a hard look at Microsoft’s behavior.