Feeds

EU considers its own case against Microsoft

Van Miert seems to be considering opening a second front

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Rumblings from Europe indicate that the Commission is growing restive over the Microsoft case, feeling that it has not been sufficiently consulted over European companies that may have been harmed by the 'Beast of Redmond'. Commissioner Karel Van Miert has openly indicated that any competition law complaint about Microsoft's business practices in Europe would be investigated. This may already be happening -- it has been reported that Microsoft Europe has issued an instruction to European OEMs and distributors that every PC shipped must contain a version of Windows, or the Windows licence for any PC would be withdrawn. If true, this would contravene the 1994 European settlement terms, which were essentially identical to the US consent decree and which prohibit per processor licensing of Windows. Clearly Microsoft's concern is that distributors may start shipping PCs with Linux or even no operating system at all. It is likely that Microsoft would find itself in a tough position in Europe if it tried to reintroduce per processor licensing, since in many ways the EU has tougher powers and remedies available than the US. For example, rather than trust the defendant to produce documents in response to CID (civil investigative demand), the EU can carry out dawn raids in any EU member state to seek documents before there is an opportunity to destroy them. So far as remedies are concerned, a company can be fined ten per cent of its worldwide revenue. Van Miert met DoJ head of antitrust Joel Klein and FTC chairman Robert Pitovsky for breakfast in Washington last week and it is believed that their discussion dwelt on an additional action in Europe, which may depend on the outcome in the present case. In Philadelphia, Van Miert said that there was no need to cover the same ground as the DoJ. He also pointed to two post-1994 cases that DGIV had handled. The first was a licensing dispute between the Santa Cruz Operation (in which, ironically, Microsoft is a shareholder), and the second, which is currently being wrapped up, concerns contracts between Microsoft and ISPs. ® Complete Register trial coverage Click for more stories Click for story index

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.