EU hits Microsoft. Who's next?

Yesterday’s European Union antitrust ruling certainly “socks Microsoft in the pocketbook,” says Fortune’s Jon Fortt in But the ones who should really worry are other “U.S. tech giants that have run afoul” of the EU in recent years. Companies like Intel, Apple, and Google might discover that “emboldened EU regulators are worse for them than for Microsoft.” The EU ruling doesn’t focus on Microsoft’s core business, but European regulators are looking at the “bread and butter” products of the other firms. Apple, with its “interoperability”-challenged iTunes/iPod combo, is the one most as risk.

A is for (Big) Apple

“The A in the new AOL may as well stand for advertising,” says Catherine Holahan in AOL’s move from Dulles, Va., to New York City—the “home of Madison Avenue” ad money—is part of its move to assemble a lucrative online ad network. This “puts it squarely in competition with Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft,” but also more “established New York media companies” that rely on print, TV, and radio ad revenues. In “difficult economic times,” marketers trying to “justify budgets” might opt for the tracking ability of online ads. At least “that's the point AOL will make in Manhattan.”