Monday, July 07, 2003

Antitrust News: Microsoft Doesn't Share Well

It shouldn't surprise anyone that the Justice Department is unhappy with Microsoft's compliance with the federal antitrust settlement:
Microsoft has yet to comply with a key provision of its government antitrust settlement, according to a progress report filed yesterday with the judge overseeing the landmark case.

A court order may be necessary "to account for Microsoft's delayed implementation," state and federal prosecutors said.

A Microsoft spokesman said the company is being cooperative and "working through the process."

But the company and government attorneys are haggling over how much Microsoft can charge for technology the company is required to share with competitors.

The report is the first public disclosure of the company's compliance with the November settlement, which largely ended the long-running case.

Government attorneys have already forced Microsoft to be more open when sharing technology.

Now they are trying to get Microsoft to lower the fees it charges to use Windows communication protocols.
One of two things is true: Either the settlement failed to set precise guidelines for what prices Microsoft could charge, or the Government is trying to placate Microsoft rivals who are constantly complaining. Of course, both premises could be true.

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