Feeds

US gov questions EC MS ruling

History may judge it 'foolish'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.