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2015考研英语阅读题源(经济类):A Matter of Sovereignty

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2014-06-05 13:48:20

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  时间进入6月份,2014年上半年的假期已经结束,还没有开始复习的考生要收收心,抓紧时间复习了。随着第一阶段的基础复习接近尾声,马上就要进入复习强化阶段,跨考考研网小编为大家整理考研英语阅读题源,希望大家能把握这一分值较大的题型。  

  1. A Matter of Sovereignty

  "You asked for it,now live with it. " That was, in essence, the message spread by Microsoft's lobbyists after the European Court of First Instance upheld a landmark antitrust ruling against the world's largest software firm on September 17th, dealing it the most stinging defeat in nearly a decade of antitrust litigation. Emboldened by this decision, Europe's anti-monopoly squad will now go after other technology firms with high market shares, the lobbyists warn, forcing them to give up valuable intellectual propetty and curbing the incentive to innovate.

  Yet it is unlikely that that Neelie Kroes, the European Union (EU) competition commissioner, will now "be leading a prison march of the word's most successful firms through her Brussels doors", as one lobbyist put it. The judgment's consequences are far- reaching, but in a different way. If it is not overturned--as ,Tbe Economist went to press, Microsoft had not said whether it would make a final appeal--the firm will, in effect, lose much of its sovereignty over the virtual territory staked out by its Windows operating system.

  Microsoft ended up in the dock in both Europe and America because it tried to protect and extend its Windows monopoly in two ways. One was by bundling other types of software along with Windows, notably its web browser, a move that triggered the antitrust action in America. Its other approach, which lay at the heart of the European case, was to withhold information from rivals that would have allowed their software to "interoperate" well with Windows over a network.

  With a new Republican president in power, America's competition authorities decided in 2002 not to pursue the case championed by the Clinton White House and instead negotiated a settlement with Microsoft. This "consent decree", large parts of which will expire in November, amounted to little more than a slap on the wrist. It failed to administer any penalty and let Microsoft add new software elements to Windows so long as PC-makers were allowed to add rival products too. The provision regarding interoperability was also limited: the requirement to provide the necessary "communication protocols" applied only to the version of Windows that runs on individual PCs, and not the one running on the servers that dish up data on corporate networks.

  The European Commission's initial ruling against Microsoft in 2004 can be seen as an attempt to address these shortcomings. The commission ordered Microsoft to sell a version of Windows without its media-player software, the bone of contention in Europe when it comes to bundling. It ruled that the firm had to provide information on how to interoperate with Windows servers. The commission also imposed a fine of $497m ($6l3m),which has since grown to $777m ($990m) because it determined that Microsoft was not fully complying with its decision.

  The European court has now upheld these remedies. Even more importantly, it largely endorsed the commission's legal reasoning. It argued, for instance, that withholding information that is needed for PCs and servers to work together constitutes an abuse of a dominant position if it keeps others from developing rival software for which there is potential consumer demand. In such cases, the information cannot be refused even if it is protected by intellectual-property-rights, as Microsoft had argued.

  With its ruling, the court has set a precedent that means Windows is no longer simply private property with which Microsoft can do as it pleases. And this will certainly apply to any other firm that manages to build a similarly crucial and long-lasting digital monopoly. Even today, with software increasingly delivered as a service over the internet, Windows is protected by something known as the "application barrier to entry", meaning that so many programs run on it that rivals have a hard time getting users and software developers to switch.

  Yet, whatever the lobbyists say, European regulators are unlikely to go after every technology firm with a big market share. There are not many similarly dominant computer platforms. what is more, most of the potential investigations that may follow are different in kind from the action against Microsoft. In the case of Qualcomm, for instance, competitors have complained that it is charging excessive royalties fox its patents on mobile-phone technologies. In the case of Apple, commission officials have already said that they are wary of proposals to force the firm to open iTunes, its online music store, to music-players other than its iPod; a separate investigation into iTunes concerns variations in pricing between European countries, rather than technological lock-in. Even the continuing investigation of Intel is not directly comparable to the Microsoft case. The world's biggest chipmaker, the commission charges, has used abusive tactics such as offering rebates to prevent computer- makers from using chips made by its rival, AMD.

  For the time being, the commission can apply the precedents set by the Microsoft ruling in only one case: Google, the world's leading web-search and online-advertising firm. Just as America's Federal Trade Commission is now doing, the EU's competition authorities will look closely at Google's planned takeover of Double Click, another leader in online advertising. And if Google becomes a central storage vault for data such as users' location and identity, as some fear, European regulators may one day try to compel the firm to give rivals open access to this information-rather as they have now forced Microsoft to release its communication protocols.

  Microsoft itself is not out of legal trouble, even if it chooses not to appeal. The commission has yet to determine whether the information the firm has supplied will really ensure interoperability. Still open, too, is the issue of how much Microsoft can charge firms that want to license its protocols. Then there is the question of whether Microsoft should be forced to license, the information to makers of open-source software. The firm argues that this would be tantamount to giving away the shop, but the commission thinks it would promote competition by advancing open-source rivals to Microsoft's products. And further investigations may yet follow into Office, Microsoft's dominant suite of business software, and Vista, the latest version of Windows.

  No wonder Microsoft is stoking fears that the commission plans to go on an antitrust rampage. It has prompted a political backlash that may discourage the EU from staying on the case. In America the talk is of a "new form of protectionism". After the European court's decision Thomas Barnett, the head of the antitrust division of the Department of Justice, warned that it "may have the unfortunate consequence of harming consumers by chilling innovation and discouraging competition".

  With this judgment Europe and America have clearly moved further apart in antitrust matters. But whether, as some fear, these differences turn into a full-blown transatlantic conflict remains to be seen. After all, the administration in Washington will probably have changed several more times before the Microsoft case finally draws to a close.

  词汇注解

  重点单词

  essence /'esns/

  【文中释义】n.本质,精髓

  【大纲全义】n.本质,实质;精髓,精华

  stinging /'stiŋiŋ/

  【文中释义】adj.激烈的

  【大纲全义】adj.有刺毛的;刺痛的;尖锐的;激烈的

  intellectual /,inti'lektjuəl/

  【文中释义】adj智力的,知性的,聪明的

  【大纲全义】n.知识分子 adj.智力的,理智的

  有理解力的

  curb /'kə:b/

  【文中释义】v.抑制

  【大纲全义】v.抑制, 约束

  commissioner / kə'miʃənə/

  【文中释义】n.委员,理事,行政长官

  【大纲全义】n.专员,委员;驻一国的高级代表;长官

  overturn/,əuvətə: n/

  【文中释义】v.推翻,颠倒

  【大纲全义】n.倾覆,破灭,革命 v.打翻,推翻

  颠倒

  sovereignty /'sɔvrinti/

  【文中释义】n.主权,独立国

  【大纲全义】n.主权; 君权,统治权; 主权国家

  champion/'tʃæmPjən/

  【文中释义】v.保卫,拥护

  【大纲全义】n.冠军,得胜者; 拥护者,斗士

  consent /kən'sent/

  【文中释义】n.同意,许可

  【大纲全义】v./n.(to)同意,赞成,答应

  decree /di'kri:/

  【文中释义】n.法令,判决

  【大纲全义】n.法令,命令, 政令; 教令 v. 颁布命令

  dish /dish/

  【文中释义】v上莱

  【大纲全义】n.碟子,盘子,菜肴 v.上莱

  超纲词汇

  lobbyist n.活动议案通过者,说客 interoperability n.互操作性,互用性

  antitrust adj.反托拉斯的 litigation n.诉讼,起诉

  embolden v.给……壮胆,鼓励 uphold v.支持

  bundle v.捆 squad n.班,小队,小集团

  interoperate v.互操作

  重点段落译文

  “所求故同在。”基本上,这是微软公司的游说人员在欧洲法院9月17日对其做出初审判决后对外宜传的信息。这次的裁定,也是近十年来最重要的一桩反托拉斯胜诉案,对微软公司这个世界上最大的软件公司具有里程碑意义。游说人员警告说,这个案子的胜诉将鼓舞欧洲的反垄断组织对其他具有较高市场份额的技术公司下手,迫使这些公司放弃其知识产权,因此而抑制他们鼓励创新的激情。

  但正如一位游说者所说,欧盟竟争委员会委员克罗斯( Neelie Kroes)还不可能容许世界上最成功的公司进人布鲁塞尔之门。但在另一方面,审判结果是具有深远影响的。如果这个议案不被推翻的话——正如之前《经济学家》所作的评论那样,微软并没有宣布他们究竟是否会做最后的上诉——结果,那么微软公司无疑会丧失大量由其Windows操作系统所支撑占有的市场份额。

  最终,欧洲和美国都将微软公司推上了被告席,这是因为该公司企图通过两种方式来保护和扩大其Windows系统的垄断地位。一方面微软公司将自身的其他软件,也就是著名网络浏览器(web Browser)和“视窗”操作系统的“捆绑”行为,在美国引发了一场反托拉斯行动。另一方面,在欧洲,核心问题在于微软公司拒绝向服务器行业的竟争对手提供相关技术信息,导致后者开发的软件无法与微软“视窗”操作系统充分兼容。

  如今在共和党总统执政的背景下,美国的反垄断当局2002年决定终止此案,而采取与微软公司协商的方式来解决问题,且此案当年得到了克林顿政府的支持。这个所谓的“令人满意的解决方案”十月份将到期。它充其量只能算是一个轻微的处罚,并允许微软公司向Windows系统中添加新的程序,前提是个人电脑制造商也可以添加竞争性产品。此外,涉及兼容性问题的条款也是有限度的:提供必要的“信息交流草案”,也只不过是针对与个人电脑用户版本的Windows系统,而公司网上用于处理保存资料的Windows版本将不提供这一服务。

  From TIME

  By Barbara Kiviat

  Apr.23,2007

  以上就是跨考考研网为大家整理的考研英语阅读题源,2015年考研真题不一定从这些材料里出题,但是还是提醒大家平时多积累,练好基本功才能在2015年的考场上笑到最后。

  2015年考研英语阅读技巧汇总(超详细)

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