Feeds

Next EC antitrust czar was Bill Gates fan

Awarded honorary degree to Sir Bill

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The successor to Mario Monti as the European Commission's competition commissioner once gave an honorary degree to Bill Gates.

As president of of Nijenrode University, Neelie Kroes gave Gates the award in 1996. Once she takes up the post in November, she'll be responsible for enforcing the controversial settlement. On Friday Kroes admitted she wouldn't have given the honorary degree if she hadn't thought Gates was "doing a good job".

When the degree was awarded, Microsoft had settled an earlier antitrust investigation with the Federal Trade Commission which alleged that Microsoft had "unlawfully maintained its monopoly of personal computer operating systems and has unreasonably restrained trade".

Although Kroes' accession to the post is regarded as a formality, the EC is making a token gesture of accountability by holding hearings vetting her appointment in September. These could be far more interesting than previously expected. The former Dutch transport minister has previously served on the boards of Volvo and Lucent, and has vowed to bring the EC's approach to antitrust issues closer to the United States'. Which, since 2001, has yet to meet a monopoly it didn't like. In June, the DoJ's lead antitrust attorney Hew Pate criticized the EC's decision.

"There is a greater emphasis [in the United States] on requiring that dominant firms limit themselves to "gentlemanly" competition," said Pate.

In March, the EC ordered Microsoft to pay a fine, and make some bundling and disclosure promises. But the move was criticized by open source advocates who objected to Microsoft being allowed to charge "reasonable remuneration" for access to its protocols. But for now, it's business as usual: the sanctions have been suspended pending an appeal by the software giant. ®

Related stories

EC mulls MS DRM monopoly trawl
EC suspends Microsoft sanctions
Microsoft confirms EC appeal
US gov questions EC MS ruling
Microsoft hopes Sun deal will dazzle EC
EC MS ruling: simply the end of the beginning
Windows ruling is biggest IP heist in EU history, claims MS
MS gets EU fine, orders for server info and WMP-free Windows

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS
'Prettier, better organised, more harmonious than if men were in charge'
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
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.
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.
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?