U.S. 'lobbied' the EC over Microsoft fine..

An article by Richard Thurston, Special to CNET News.com, includes:

The U.S. government sought to influence the European Commission over Microsoft's antitrust case, according to Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

Kroes said the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Belgium, had asked her to be "nicer" to Microsoft ahead of her decision to fine the software giant 280 million euros ($357 million) in July.

A look at the bigger picture tells us more. Many of these antitrust problems have their roots in governments granting too strong rights in the form of copyrights and patents. Rather than protecting creativity or innovation, recent changes have had the root intent of lessening competition by creating platform monopolies (so-called "anti-circumvention" in copyright law) or other excessive monopolies (patents on manipulations of intangibles such as information processes, which by their nature have no marginal cost).