Feeds

New MS contract clause caters for forced company breakup

Lawyers being ultra-lawyerly, or do we see the big one coming?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

A reader yesterday essentially cracked our April Fool's jest (that Judge Jackson would rule on US v Microsoft on 25 November, which is of course Thanksgiving Day in the USA). Thanksgiving for what? Well might you ask. (see story). A District Court source in Washington said yesterday said that "The findings of fact will not issue on October 22", so the bets are now on for a future Friday. Judge Jackson has asked that his chambers not be called, and said that no other notices would be posted. The reason for Judge Jackson deciding to issue his findings late on a Friday is to minimise the effect of his ruling on the stock market. This does suggest that he will be mostly finding that the DoJ's version of the facts is, well, more factual than Microsoft's. Microsoft itself seems to be confirming this expectation, since it has been putting some funny legal language in its contracts recently. What other explanation could there be for a pessimistic clause that says that the contract may be transferred to "any successor to its business that results from a reorganisation required under a court order as part of the pending United States trust case"? Dow Jones quotes an anonymous spokesman saying that there's no Microsoft policy to include such language, that he was unaware of any such language, and that perhaps it was requested by Microsoft's business partners. This doesn't wash, because lawyers and their clients have confirmed that the clause was invented by Microsoft. General opinion seems to be that the assignment clause is a product of "careful lawyering", but it is of course quite possible for the court to negate any contractual clauses or contracts. Meanwhile, Microsoft's share price rose 7 per cent yesterday, to regain the ground that Ballmer lost. The unanswered question is whether Maffei was acting under orders to be upbeat, in order to drive the share price up, and make Microsoft employees and investors more cheerful. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.