Feeds

US gov questions EC MS ruling

History may judge it 'foolish'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The US government has again questioned the way the EC chose to punish Microsoft for anti-competitive practices.

Hew Pate, US assistant attorney-general for anti-trust, said: "it is extremely difficult to tell the difference between good, hard competition and anti-competitive conduct." Pate said this difficulty is one reason why US regulators prefer to attack companies taking affirmative action such as exclusive contracts rather than trying to identify anti-competitive behaviour. He warned that forward-looking rulings on products could often look foolish when viewed by history.

Pate noted in his speech that regulations directed at opening up state-controlled monopolies were likely to be less well suited to dealing with companies that have grown up independently. He has previously described the EC decision to force Microsoft to unbundle its Media Player as likely to "chill" competition.

But he also used his speech to congratulate Competition Commissioner Mario Monti on the successes of his term in office and "raising the stature of competition policy and promoting a culture of competition".

Microsoft is appealing the decision which hit them with a €497m fine and ruling to offer a version of Windows without the Media Player. Monti, quoted in the FT, said: "We feel comfortable with the decision and look forward with confidence to the likely court proceedings." The case is being heard by the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg.

You can read more of Pate's speech here ®

Related stories

Microsoft appeals record-breaking fine
EC MS ruling: simply the end of the beginning
Microsoft faces one per cent fine

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.