Feeds

Europe extends deadline for MS' antitrust probe response

Mid-November. Ah, but then Christmas looms...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The European Commission has extended the deadline for Microsoft to file its response to charges that it's unfairly using its dominance in the PC market to achieve a similar position for Win2k in the server market. Microsoft now has until the middle of next month to come up with what we can expect to be a monstrously large pile of paperwork.

Microsoft itself asked for the deadline extension, while Sun originally asked for the investigation. According to our calculations, Microsoft should actually have had its response in at the beginning of this month, but we presume the intervening weeks have been spent discussing the company's sick note.

By the standards of the US trial, the six weeks or so slippage isn't massive, and as Europe still seems to be shadowing the US authorities to some extent, the Commission might well view it as politic to slow to a gentle stroll. The last sighting of a Commission target for a ruling was not before "early next year," but we might now be expecting action around March time, which is now the earliest ETA for the US appeal process to complete.

Europe, however, is in the happy position of being able to pull the trigger more or less when it wants. As and when it does want to move, the Commission can move fairly fast, without having to engage the protracted legal looping that constitutes the US antitrust system. Microsoft (and indeed the Commission, let's be fair) can stall at the various filing stages, but we could easily be talking months rather than years for the European action, if the Commission wills it.

Bad things could happen to Microsoft. It could get whacked for 10 per cent of its global annual revenues, and the Commission's inclination seems to be to view Windows as an essential facility, and therefore to force Microsoft to open it up. Competition Commissioner Mario Monti has also indicated that Microsoft might as well forget the copyright defence. This, he thinks, is a smokescreen Microsoft can't hide behind. ®

Related Stories:
MS wins more time in Euro antitrust case
EU goes legal against MS - company should open up Windows
MS tells EU it's always pushed standards, interoperability
Blizzard of documents dumped on Europe MS probe
EU keeps MS antitrust enquiry pot boiling

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Do Moan! MONSTER 6-day EMAIL OUTAGE hits Domain Monster
Customers freaked out by frightful service
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.