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MS rewards reformed critic with $10m

CCIA president trousers a packet

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Microsoft has paid almost $10m directly to the top official of the Computer and Communications Industry Association as part of its settlement with the trade group.

The CCIA has been a longtime critic of Microsoft but the two reached agreement earlier this month. Microsoft paid $19.75m to the group which promised to drop its support for EC antitrust action. In return the CCIA withdrew a complaint it made to the European Commission and stopped supporting the regulator's antitrust legal action against the software giant. Ed Black, CCIA president, was previously a harsh critic of Microsoft - in 2001 he described the firm's behaviour as "consistently, constantly illegal".

As part of the settlement earlier this month Black was personally paid $9.75m, according to documents obtained by the Financial Times. The CCIA board approved the one-off bonus payment and a three-year contract with a salary of $500,000. Microsoft joined the association as part of the deal. Handset maker Nokia left the trade group complaining that events had not been properly handled.

In a statement at the time, which makes more sense now, Ed Black said: "Life is a constant reordering of priorities, and for important and pragmatic reasons we are choosing to move on with regard to this matter. Neither I, nor CCIA, can recant the many things we have said and filed relating to Microsoft. Although we know and value the important role we have played on this matter over the years, there are other current and emerging matters which demand our attention." ®

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