“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” the philosopher George Santayana warned 120 years ago. An even better-known philosopher, former Yankee catcher Yogi Berra, put it more succinctly: “It’s déjà vu, all over again.”
I’m referring to the antitrust battle Microsoft is waging with the US government over the company’s $69 billion agreement to buy game-maker Activision Blizzard. More than 30 years ago, Microsoft fought the feds in another antitrust suit over whether the software maker was using Windows’ monopolistic market share to kill competitors.
That one didn’t go well for Microsoft. It consumed the company’s attention for so long that it set the company adrift, setting off what is called Microsoft’s lost decade; it fell behind Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and its stock price plummeted to half its previous worth.