Competition: Who Wants It? Not Monopolies or Legacy Software Outfits

December 3, 2021

Legacy software companies were once the toast of the tech industry, but now they set the standards and procedures followed by everyone. They have been in power so long they do not like to give it up to newer competition. The Irish Times shares the opinions of the competition: “Tech Groups Say SAP, Oracle, And Microsoft Are Unfair Digital ‘Gatekeepers.’”

Tech groups in the European Union have dubbed Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and other legacy software companies “gatekeepers” that prevent competition. The tech groups sent a letter to the EU via Bloomberg News about the Digital Markets Act. They argue that the act “falls short” of addressing software providers “unfair” licensing practices. The legacy companies are locking customers in and self-preferring themselves when they offer cloud services.

The current Digital Markets Act currently deals more with big US companies:

“The Digital Markets Act currently focuses on anti-competitive behaviors by social media and online marketplace companies like Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook; Alphabet’s Google and Amazon. com. While that has prompted criticism that European lawmakers are targeting US-based companies, some parliamentarians are trying to broaden the rules to include more companies like software providers.

The groups seeking the inclusion of software platforms represent more than 2,500 chief innovation officers and almost 700 businesses organizations in the four EU countries, including L’Oreal, Zalando and Volkswagen.”

One would think that the new Digital Markets Act would address every tech company as a blanket law instead of focusing on a specific few. The EU should draft a law that blocks all gatekeeping practices and opens the market for competition. Legacy software companies do have a lot of money and clout, but that does not mean they write the law.

Whitney Grace, December 3, 2021

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