Alber & Geiger’s advocacy secures existence for U.S. tech firm in Europe
The compromise that would have blocked the market
Microsoft reacted by proposing a limit on the access of browsers with a market share higher than 0.5% by means of a ‘ballot screen’. The Commission was ready to accept this proposal to close the antitrust case. Flock would not have been part of the ‘ballot screen’ which would only have coverd the “big guys”. Flock was not a party of the antitrust case either. So Flock contacted Alber & Geiger with 2 months notice to block the agreement betwenn the Commission and Microsoft and get them into the ‘ballot screen’. Flock was at risk of being blocked out of the market.
The arguments against the Microsoft solution
The strategy employed an intricate methodology that encompassed a broad range of interconnected provisions and communications. It utilized the composition of technical and soft law instruments that required Alber & Geiger to speak the Commission’s language. It outlined that Microsoft’s solution would have amounted to an oligopoly. In doing so it demonstrate that, by its very essence the ballot screen proposal was contrary to the Commission’s 2010 goal for open and competitive communications markets. The close co-ordination between our litigation and lobbying departments created a nexus of effective communications and activities that proved to be decisive.