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11.30.09

Musical Chairs in The European Commission

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 5:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bush and Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy with Laura Bush

Siim Kallas - GWB
Siim Kallas with George Bush

Summary: Seats swapped and some familiar figures depart as a new generation of regulators is to be installed

A WEEK ago we warned that the European Commission keeps getting filled with Microsoft cronies.

This observation is also being made by Free software companies and it is based on evidence. Based on the latest changes from Barroso (see [1, 2]), Kores is to be sort of demoted which is good news to Microsoft.

The new Competition Commissioner will be Joaquin Almunia.

European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, a Spanish Socialist known for tackling countries’ deficits, will be antitrust chief in the next European Commission, succeeding Neelie Kroes.

As competition commissioner, Almunia, 61, will be responsible for ensuring that companies don’t abuse market positions or unlawfully collude to fix prices. He will also rule on mergers and acquisitions in the 27-nation bloc.

From IDG News Service:

Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced on Friday how he wants to allocate dossiers in his next five-year term in office. His team comprises one Commissioner from each of the 27 member states of the E.U., who were selected by national heads of government over the past month.

Other choices include Neelie Kroes in Reding’s old job. Kroes was competition commissioner for the past five years. During that time she fought Microsoft in the long-running antitrust battle which looks set to end as Microsoft appears willing to settle.

There is more information in the Wall Street Journal and while Siim Kallas stays, he is not the only one worth watching.

Other servants of Microsoft’s interests (like Charlie McCreevy and Nicolas Sarkozy [1, 2]) are mentioned in the news.

Sarkozy Wins Bid to Install Ally as EU Financial-Services Chief

French President Nicolas Sarkozy won his bid to install an ally as the European Commission’s next financial-services regulator, fueling British concern that traders and hedge funds will face stricter rules.

[...]

French officials have pushed for tighter regulations on hedge funds than has outgoing internal-markets chief Charlie McCreevy of Ireland and criticized him for not responding forcefully enough to the financial crisis. The U.K., seeking to protect its financial-services industry, has tried to weaken proposed rules for hedge funds and private-equity managers.

He has actually done far worse things.

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