Home Messages Index
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index

[News] [Rival] Microsoft's Criminal Behaviour Becomes a Legal Threat to It

  • Subject: [News] [Rival] Microsoft's Criminal Behaviour Becomes a Legal Threat to It
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2007 15:41:18 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: Netscape / schestowitz.com
  • User-agent: KNode/0.10.4
[the blog item was covered before in a different context]

Lobbying Could Cause Legal Trouble for Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| "In the wake of the exposure of Microsoft's attempt to buy Sweden's vote on 
| OOXML and Sweden's annulment of that vote due to irregularities, IBM's Rob 
| Weir points out that the fiasco could cause anti-trust worries for Microsoft. 
| He quotes ALLIED TUBE & CONDUIT CORP. v. INDIAN HEAD, INC., 486 U.S. 492 
| (1988), which says 'What petitioner may not do (without exposing itself to 
| possible antitrust liability for direct injuries) is bias the process by, as 
| in this case, stacking the private standard-setting body with decision makers 
| sharing their economic interest in restraining competition.'"       


Microsoft Still a Monopoly, 7 State Attorneys Say

,----[ Quote ]
| The report maintains that Microsoft's comingling violation has not been 
| effectively addressed, that Microsoft remains in possession of the fruits of 
| its violation and that the competitive conditions prior to Microsoft's 
| anticompetitive conduct have not been restored.   


Legal peril ahead? Maybe.


Comes petition (Iowa trial).

Microsoft's Predatory Response to GNU/Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| 142. GNU/Linux is an "open source" operating system that runs on Intel-
| compatible PCs. Microsoft has targeted the competing operating system
| by pressuring Intel, as well as various major OEMs such as Dell and
| Compaq, to boycott Linux. In late 2000, for instance, Microsoft
| executive Joachim Kempin described his plan of retaliation and
| coercion to shut down competition from Linux: "I am thinking of
| hitting the OEM harder than in the past with anti- Linux actions" and
| will "further try to restrict source code deliveries where possible
| and be less gracious when interpreting agreements - again without
| being obvious about it," continuing "this will be a delicate dance."
| 143. LindowsOS (now known as Linspire), which is developed and
| marketed by Lindows.com, Inc., is an Intel-compatible PC operating
| system based on Linux and which competes directly with Microsoft on
| the. PC desktop. On information and belief, Microsoft interfered with
| Lindows.com, Inc.'s ability to distribute its product through the OEM
| channel. Microsoft also initiated a lawsuit against Lindows.com, Inc.
| that adversely affected Lindows.com, Inc.'s ability to exist, obtain;
| funding and conduct business. Mierosoft's Antieompetltive Agreements
| With OEMs To Foreclose Competition 144. Microsoft Chairman and former
| CEO, Bill Gates, reportedly summarized the effects of the DOJ's 1995
| consent decree--which banned "per processor" licenses, among other
| 47Page 48 exclusionary licensing termsmas "nothing." Microsoft was
| able to devise other restrictive OEM agreements to foreclose
| competition in th¢Õ 145. A "per system" license was the practical
| equivalent of the "per processor" license. Under the "per system"
| license, the OEM had to pay royalties to Microsoft for every computer
| of a particular "model" or "system" that it shipped--again, as with
| the "per processor" contracts, regardless of whether the PC contained
| Microsoft's operating system. Microsoft defined "system" and "model"
| so broadly in its contracts that virtually all of an OEM's production
| was subject to Microsoft's "double tax" if the OEM wanted to give the
| consumer a choice of operating systems. Microsoft did not agree to
| give up its "per system" licenses in the 1995 consent decree, even
| though the Department of Justice warned the federal district court
| that "per system licenses, if not properly fencet in, could be used by
| Microsoft to accomplish anticompetitive ends similar to 'per
| processor' licenses"--and in fact were. 146. Another way that
| Microsoft found to circumvent the federal court's 1995 injunction
| forbidding its use of "minimum commitment/per processor" licenses was
| what Microsoft calls its "Market Development Agreements" ("MDAs").
| Microsoft contrived the MDA as a device to evade the Court's decree
| prohibiting Microsoft from requiring OEMs to adhere to "minimum
| commitments." As Steve Ballmer (Microsoft's current CEO) acknowledged:
| "We have always given better prices to customers who work with us to
| make the market. Those used to take the form of commits [i.e., minimum
| commitments] which we do not do anymore as a result of the [federal
| court's] decree but we still believe in rewarding people who help us
| create demand. Hence the iMDA." Under the MDAs, Microsoft granted
| large discriminatory price concessions to those OEMs that would agree
| to market and promote Microsofl's Windows to the exclusion of any
| rival operating system. These discounts were
| 48Page 49 calibrated so as to force the OEM to sell most of its
| computers with a Microsoft operating system in order to obtain the
| lowest price. 147. Because the OEM market is so competitive and profit
| margins are so thin, every OEM had to get the lowest price it
| could :from Microsoft in order to survive. In March 2002, a Gateway
| marketing executive (Anthony Fama) testified before Judge Kollar-
| Kotelly in State of New York et al. v. Microsoft, Case No. 98-1233
| (CKK), about how Microsoft used its MDA program in order to force OEMs
| to market Microsot's operating system exclusively: "Given the
| substantial nature of these discounts, participation in the MDA, as a
| practical matter, is not optional. In other words, not
| receiving :these discounts would put Gateway at a substantial
| competitive disadvantage, and Gateway has communicated that self-
| evident proposition to Microsoft." Microsoft also used its MDAs to
| lock OEMs in and competitors out by offering a discriminatory price to
| the OEM in a later year provided (a) the OEM reached Microsoft's
| imposed goal of Windows sales over competitive sales in the prior year
| and (b) renewed its exclusionary contract with Microsoft for ,the
| later year. This placed the OEM on a perpetual treadmill, eliminating
| competition indefinitely. Microsoft continued these exclusionary terms
| at least past April 2002. 148. One method for encouraging competition
| in the operating systems market would have been the sale by OEMs of
| "naked machines" (i.e., computers that are sold without a
| predetermined suite of software forced upon the consumer). "Naked
| machines" would allow consumers to choose their computer's software
| configuration from an array of competitive software products, either
| for preinstallation by the OEM or installation by the end user.
| Microsoft sought and obtained the agreement of the OEMs to refrain
| from selling "naked machines." Instead, OEMs universally agree to
| "bundle" Microsoft applications and operating 49Page 50
| systems with their computer hardware, effectively depriving consumers
| of any competitive choices. These restrictive agreements exited before
| 2000 but, in 2000, Microsoft ratcheted the restriction up so that OEMs
| are forced to forfeit all discounts otherwise earned if they ship any
| "naked machines" to consumers. This heightened restriction, which (on
| information and belief) continues to the present, prohibits PC users
| and PC retailers from buying and installing lower priced or better
| quality operating systems of their choice.

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index