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Microsoft promises it won't meddle with digital TV market

And we all believe it

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The European Commission's investigation into the negative effect Microsoft can have on the digital TV market (thanks to its giant share holdings) has concluded that everything can be left as is because Microsoft has "agreed not to influence" the market and future technology.

Which is a weight off everyone's mind.

Digital TV and the Internet access it will soon offer are seen as the future of communication, and so the EC was concerned that Microsoft was taking large stakes in some of the main players. Probably because of the company's domination of the PC operating system and Internet browser markets, not to mention large chunks of the software market, by its aggressive approach.

But fortunately for everyone involved, Microsoft has agreed not to influence decisions on the set-top market. It has also abolished or changed the "technology boards" where a number of leading companies got together so Microsoft could tell them where the market was going, so we can be certain that digital TV will now evolve naturally. And with that, the EC has decided to close the investigation.

We were worried for a minute because Microsoft owns large numbers of shares in Telewest, United Pan-European Communications NV, NTL and TV Cabo (Portugal). But now we can all sleep safely in our beds. ®

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