EU May Give Microsoft Some Leeway In Meeting Antitrust Demands - 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
Software // Enterprise Applications

EU May Give Microsoft Some Leeway In Meeting Antitrust Demands

A source says European regulators may leave it to Microsoft to work out a way to meet demands that it release more programming code.

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Wary of provoking a copyright battle, European regulators wrapping up their antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. may leave it to the U.S. software giant to work out how to meet demands that it release more programming code, a source close to the case said Tuesday.

The regulators have already prepared a draft decision that finds Microsoft violated European Union competition law on two counts essentially: by bundling its media player into its dominant Windows operating system, and by failing to provide competitors in the server market with adequate data so their products operate as well with Windows as Microsoft's own.

EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti said Monday that he had set a date for deciding the long-running case--expected as early as next month--but that a settlement was still possible.

Monti is expected to fine Microsoft for past abuses and is considering requiring it to either sell Windows in the EU without a media player or include products made by rivals as well as its own.

But demands that Microsoft release more proprietary "source code" for the server market could give the European Court of First Instance grounds to suspend the order if Microsoft appeals, as expected.

In previous cases involving intellectual property rights, the court has issued injunctions stopping regulators from forcing companies to give up valuable data or innovative ideas.

Last year, Monti was forced to concede defeat by withdrawing a ruling against U.S. pharmaceuticals-data collector IMS Health Inc., which had been suspended by the court since October 2001.

Under one plan in the Microsoft case, the source told Dow Jones Newswires, Monti would fine Microsoft for monopoly abuses but stop short of demanding more proprietary data than the company has already offered in recent negotiations. The source spoke on condition of anonymity.

That would be good for Microsoft, which has argued that its rivals are trying to clone its most valuable products, including software known as Active Directory that lets organizations centrally manage users and computing resources on a network.

Europe's trustbusters could encourage Microsoft and its competitors, such as Sun Microsystems Inc., to hash out the details among themselves, and to settle further disputes before Europe's national courts.

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
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
Slideshows
Flash Poll