Monday, September 08, 2003

Antitrust News: Sanction of the Victim

On Friday Microsoft settled an antitrust suit with Be Inc. which was pending in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland in Baltimore. Be will receive a payment from Microsoft, after attorney's fees, in the amount of $23,250,000 to end further litigation, and Microsoft admits no wrongdoing.

Be contended that Microsoft violated California and federal antitrust laws by negotiating deals with computer manufacturers to use Microsoft's operating system exclusively, cutting out Be's competing operating system.

According to Microsoft's press release, "both parties are satisfied with the agreement and believe that it is fair and reasonable".

Business leaders deserve great credit for the wealth and opportunities they create. The also deserve to be held to task when their actions destroy wealth. Microsoft just paid $23 million in rent to a bankrupt competitor to settle a baseless suit. It makes one wonder just how practical Microsoft's strategy of fighting antitrust suits against it without fighting the antitrust laws themselves.

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