BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 4 November, 2002, 14:59 GMT
Microsoft's focus shifts to Europe
Microsoft headquarters in Redmond
The battle is not yet over for Microsoft
Microsoft's long-running battle to overcome anti-trust claims has switched to Europe, after a landmark court ruling looked to have settled US claims.

The software giant is still faced with possible sanctions by the European Commission over alleged abuse of market power.

A decision on how the commission will deal with Microsoft will be taken by Competition Commissioner Mario Monti by the end of this year.

But the US decision should not influence the Commission's decision, spokeswoman Amelia Torres said.

"Our case is quite different from a factual point of view," she said.

Campaign

Mr Monti has consistently said the decisions the European Commission would have to make were very different.

"The [US] settlement does not reach over to do anything to cure the problem in Europe," insisted Ed Black, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association in Washington.

Nevertheless, Microsoft has already started its campaign to convince Mr Monti to look closely at the settlement agreement with the US Justice Department, which was approved by a judge on Friday.

"We think that in the interests of transatlantic consistency we hope they would weigh these decisions with the other facts before them," said Microsoft's legal representative in Europe, Horacio Gutierrez.

Agreed remedies

Under the settlement in the US, Microsoft:

    Bill Gates
    Bill Gates is arguing for "consistency"
  • must release some technical data to other software developers to enable them to write programmes for Windows

  • may not retaliate against computer makers which use rival products

  • must create uniform licensing terms for its software

  • must allow manufacturers and customers to remove icons for some Microsoft features

This, the US Justice Department insisted, would benefit consumers.

Criticism

The European Commission is critical of Microsoft's bundling of its music and video software Media Player with its operating system Windows because it puts its competitors at a disadvantage.

Mario Monti
Mr Monti is looking at a different solution
The competitors include RealNetworks and QuickTime, owned by Apple.

Microsoft's efforts to make its Windows operating system work better with its own server software than with, say, Linux or other versions of the Unix operating system have also been criticised.

And the company's programs which sit in part in its servers and partly in Windows are alleged to hurt rivals including Sun Microsystems, IBM and Novell, Mr Black said.

As yet, nobody seem prepared to make a guess about Mr Monti's intentions.


The settlement

Appeal court ruling

Appeal hearing

Analysis
See also:

02 Nov 02 | Business
01 Nov 02 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes