washingtonpost.com  > Technology > Special Reports > Microsoft

Page 2 of 2  < Back  

E.U. Regulators Say Microsoft Had Agreed to Sanctions

In Microsoft's view, the prospect of any such regulation would chill the innovation that is critical to the information-age economy.

Forrester said the European sanctions are "intended to achieve permanent structural change in the industry," which would be especially damaging in a field that shifts and evolves rapidly.

The European Court of First Instance is conducting the hearing on sanctions ordered against Microsoft for anti-competitive business practices. (Francois Lenoir -- Reuters)

_____Microsoft Corp_____
(MSFT) Stock Quote and News
Historical Chart
Company Description
Analyst Ratings

_____More About Microsoft_____
Microsoft Crafts Backup Plan (The Washington Post, Sep 28, 2004)
Microsoft Takes Stands Against Spam, Sanctions (The Washington Post, Sep 23, 2004)
Microsoft to Share Source Code With Governments (The Washington Post, Sep 21, 2004)
Melinda Gates Joins Washington Post Co. as Director (The Washington Post, Sep 10, 2004)
Microsoft's Homeland Security Efforts (Live Online, Aug 31, 2004)
Report: Microsoft
_____Local Tech News_____
Johnson Will Retire Nov. 1 As CACI's No. 2 Executive (The Washington Post, Oct 1, 2004)
After the Big Drop (The Washington Post, Oct 1, 2004)
Corvis Will Change Name To Broadwing (The Washington Post, Sep 29, 2004)
More Headlines
Tech Events Calendar

He accused the commission of taking "the horticultural approach" to competition policy, seeking to prune Microsoft in an effort to let others grow. "That might work for shrubs," he said, but not for technology.

The company largely prevailed in this view in the United States, where federal courts rejected more aggressive sanctions, sought by several states, than those agreed to in the deal between the company and the Justice Department. That agreement did, however, provide for licensing of certain technical data, but not code that would allow a rival server system to work with Microsoft's system.

Europe, where Microsoft does roughly one-third of its business, is also critical to the company's growth, and Microsoft does not want to face differing regulations in various corners of the world.

The company also is counting on the expansion of its copyright and patent portfolios to help its business grow, and it sought to persuade Vesterdorf that the disclosure mandate would amount to stripping it of the core asset of any technology company, its intellectual property.

That view was seconded today by trade associations whose members support Microsoft's case. But European Commission lawyers and representatives of rival companies scoffed at the idea that the data Microsoft is being ordered to produce are valuable trade secrets.

"They are not kept secret because they are valuable," said Jeremy Allison, co-creator of the Samba server system. "They are valuable because they are kept secret."

< Back  1 2

© 2004 The Washington Post Company