Microsoft's Losing European Battle - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
3/3/2006
03:37 PM
Rob Preston
Rob Preston
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft's Losing European Battle

Microsoft is escalating its 2-year-old war with Europe's trustbusters, charging in a 16-page complaint that the European Commission schemed with the software giant's rivals in trying to discredit Microsoft's compliance with the EC's 2004 antitrust decision.

Microsoft is escalating its 2-year-old war with Europe's trustbusters, charging in a 16-page complaint that the European Commission schemed with the software giant's rivals in trying to discredit Microsoft's compliance with the EC's 2004 antitrust decision.Microsoft's defiance should come as no surprise. Ever since CEO Steve Ballmer returned from Brussels empty-handed two years ago--"We had hoped to settle this thing," he snapped--Microsoft has claimed the moral and legal high ground.

Here's a cheap piece of legal advice: The high ground is a lonely and potentially expensive piece of real estate, so change your tactics.

Recall that Microsoft took the same in-your-face tack with the U.S. Justice Department and the judge who oversaw the U.S. antitrust trial. The initial U.S. ruling, if it had been implemented, would have been disastrous for Microsoft. Only after Gates, Ballmer & Co. stopped grandstanding and started feigning some respect for the process was it able to mitigate the decision to one that has allowed the company to operate undaunted.

Whether Microsoft has a legitimate beef with how the European case is being handled really doesn't matter (unfortunately). In the United States, class-action lawyers regularly shop their frivolous suits to the judges and counties they know will be the most sympathetic. For high-tech litigators (Sun, Novell, etc.) that can't punish Microsoft in the marketplace or U.S. court system, the judicial woodshed of choice is now Brussels, which is all too happy to paddle the European tech industry's single biggest competitor.

The EC has all the power. It's time for Microsoft to realize that.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
Commentary
If DevOps Is So Awesome, Why Is Your Initiative Failing?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  12/2/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll