January 26, 2006
Microsoft Antitrust Problems In The News
This story seems to be moving fast given the deadlines involved. In Europe, the European Commission has granted Microsoft a one month delay in complying with the EU's antitrust ruling against the company. Microsoft is obligated to provide programming details that would allow server products from other companies to inter-operate with its own software. The deadline was Wednesday, but has been extended to February 15th. Without the extension, Microsoft was liable for fine of 2 million Euros a day, or $2.4 million American.
Yesterday, the company surprised the Commission and Neelie Kroes, Europe's chief antitrust officer, with an offer to show rivals the source code for Windows that deals with the communication protocols at issue. Microsoft would charge fees and require non-disclosure agreements for the views. Kroes said she didn't know if this act on the part of Microsoft would bring the company into compliance with the ruling. She said that all she had was Microsoft's announcement and a press release, which was not enough for her to make a statement. She did note that the source code for Windows was never a requirement under the EU's order. She also stated that the documentation for the protocols is what is important.
Other analysts echo the fact that source code is one thing, but documentation on how to use it is quite another. As to the documentation Microsoft had already given, it was described by the EC monitor as totally unfit.
In a similar complaint, the Justice Department told a federal judge on the 17th of January that Microsoft is behind in documenting its Microsoft Communications Protocol Program. More on this here.
January 26, 2006 | Permalink
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