Feeds

Europe unleashes second probe into MS

Can't even spend $3bn on a little cable company without Brussels chipping in, apparently...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Microsoft has found itself on the receiving end of a second European Commission investigation, over its proposed purchase of a 29.9 per cent stake in UK cable company Telewest. The Commission already has an antitrust investigation of Microsoft building up steam, and earlier this week extended the deadline for Microsoft to supply documentation until 15th April. According to a statement issued today, the latest probe has been launched because of the Commission's concern over the possible impact on competition in the set-top box market, and because the deal might strengthen Telewest's dominant position as "an exclusive supplier of cable services to consumers within its franchise area." It's not entirely clear to The Register how you can strengthen your dominant position if you're already the exclusive supplier, but hey, what do we know? Interestingly, the Commission also says that it "must ensure that technology is not used to restrict the choice of services which consumers can access," and that "the focus area of the investigation will be the provision of software for digital set-top boxes in the UK and its impact for the choice of the British cable subscribers." Now people, doesn't that sound a lot broader than just an investigation into whether or not Microsoft should be allowed to buy a stake in Telewest? It sounds rather more like the Commission wants to force British cable companies, who generally are in monopoly positions, to open up the range of services they provide consumers. Funnily enough, Microsoft may turn out to be innocent, and only collateral roadkill here. As we reported last month, Telewest is proposing to use Liberate Technologies' TV Platform for its interactive services. Before being spun off Liberate was Oracle's NCI, Network Computer Inc., i.e. Microsoft's opposition. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.