EU judge calls meeting in Microsoft antitrust case
Two of the major participants in the case have withdrawn
IDG News Service - The judge examining whether or not to suspend sanctions in the European Union's antitrust ruling against Microsoft Corp. has called a meeting to determine how the case should proceed following the withdrawal of two of its major participants.
Sanctions include a $648.6 million fine, the publication of APIs (application programming interfaces) related to network servers and the unbundling of the media player software from Windows.
The meeting, called by Judge Bo Vesterdorf of the Court of First Instance (CFI) in Luxembourg, will be held Thursday, said Bruce Lowry, a spokesman for Novell Inc., one of the companies that has withdrawn from the case. "The judge called a meeting and invited all parties to the EU action to attend in order to discuss procedural matters having to do with the withdrawal of the CCIA and Novell," he said.
Novell and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a Washington-based industry organization, had been participating in the European Commission's case against Microsoft, but the two companies settled their antitrust claims in early November. As a result, both have agreed to withdraw from the case, leaving RealNetworks Inc. as the last company with a broad complaint in the matter.
Other industry organizations, including the Free Software Foundation, also remain involved in the case.
Thursday's meeting has been called to determine whether testimony from Novell and CCIA should be removed from the case, said a source familiar with the proceedings.
Other people familiar with the case said that the judge wanted to hear from the parties their assessment of the implications of Novell and CCIA withdrawing from the case. However, there was no suggestion that the commission would drop the case at this stage.
In March, the European Commission concluded a five-year investigation into Microsoft, concluding that the software vendor had abused its dominance in the PC operating system market, giving it an unfair advantage over rivals like RealNeworks and Novell. The commission imposed the fine and ordered Microsoft to offer a version of Windows that did not include its Windows Media Player software. It also ordered Microsoft to open up parts of its Windows code so that rivals could build competing products.
Microsoft appealed the ruling to the CFI, and Verterdorf is examining whether to suspend some or all of the commission's remedies or to deny Microsoft's appeal.
Microsoft didn't return calls seeking comment on this story.
Simon Taylor of the IDG News Service contributed to this report.
Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Gov't Legislation/Regulation White Papers | Webcasts