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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Microsoft is just as giant as the other Big Tech firms participating in tomorrow's House antitrust hearing, but a longtime former executive believes it's successfully dodged scrutiny on the issue because of its past antitrust battles.

"Microsoft has done a nice job staying out of the crosshairs on antitrust stuff because they've been through it," Kevin Turner, Microsoft's chief operating officer between 2005 and 2016, tells Axios. "A lot of people want energy over experience, but in the legal area I think experience matters."

Context: The House Judiciary Committee's House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee tomorrow will hear from Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

  • As of today's trading, Microsoft has a larger market cap than any of the participants except for Apple.
  • Microsoft in 1998 was charged by the Justice Department with antitrust violations, and the case dragged on for years. The company was initially found guilty, which would have resulted in a breakup, but then won on appeal.
  • Despite the ultimate victory, many believe Microsoft was distracted by the case, thus helping to create an opening for Google to emerge.

Yes, but: Microsoft may get swept up in this century's antitrust battles yet. Slack last week filed a complaint in the European Union arguing that Microsoft harms competition by tying its Teams collaboration software to the Microsoft Office software suite.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies, AP reports.

The state of play: Biden also planned to raise arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the call took place while she was delivering a press briefing. Psaki added that a full readout will be provided later Tuesday.