Competition winners

Competition stories, it seems, are like buses. You wait around for ages for one to arrive and then two come along at once.

Europe’s Court of First Instance (CFI) has had a particularly busy morning, ruling on two competition-related cases with wide repercussions.

For the first, we really did have to wait a long time: nine years, to be precise. The CFI upheld Microsoft’s record fine for abuse of dominant position [see story].

Meanwhile, the second poses a quandary for in-house lawyers, with the CFI ruling that the European Commission was correct in thinking that communication between general counsel and their in-house clients is not privileged [see story].

It seems that the big winner of today’s judgment is the Commission’s frequently maligned competition regulator. It’s been waiting an age itself to have such a boost.

No word as yet on whether it’s got the power to do anything about those darn buses, though.