Feeds

DoJ abandons MS split, but wants court to check WinXP etc

How good have you been since the trial, Bill?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

The US Department of Justice won't be asking for Microsoft's break-up any more, nor will it be coming back for another go at the tying of IE to Windows, which was one of the matters sent back to the district court by the appeals court for further consideration. The DoJ will however be pressing for "prompt, effective and certain" relief over the large pile of sins Microsoft was deemed guilty of, and it also wants to lob "developments in the industry since the trial concluded" into the equation.

So the apparent escape from break-up (the judge of course could still have different ideas) has several nasty edges to it from Microsoft's point of view. In a statement today the DoJ makes it clear that it's abandoning break-up and the tying issues in the interest of speed. It could also have said that break-up would have been messy, unworkable and difficult to get through the courts. And it could have said that, given the difficulties involved in putting Humpty Netscape back together again, there's really not a lot of mileage in IE tying these days.

It didn't, naturally. The DoJ is largely going for the quicker, easier and probably more effective shot. The appeals court spiked Judge Jackson's remedies and bounced a couple of his conclusions, but in large part agreed with him that Microsoft was seriously guilty of a multitude of antitrust offences and sundry monopolisations. If Microsoft cannot get this overturned, and the DoJ doesn't give it the opportunity to delay by pursuing the harder and more complicated matters, then conduct remedies could be imposed relatively quickly.

The DoJ itself says it is seeking "an order that is modeled after the interim conduct-related provisions of the Final Judgment previously ordered in the case." Aside from wanting a period of "expedited discovery" to cover what Microsoft's been up to since the trial (including, of course, WinXP), the DoJ wants the court to evaluate "whether additional conduct-related provisions are necessary, especially in the absence of a break-up." This might be upping the ante, it might be a negotiating ploy with the possibility of an agreed settlement in mind, or it might be a bit of both. ®

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.