Differences could not be bridged


Differences could not be bridged

Caroline Davis & David Bicknell

Caroline Davis & David Bicknell

When US Appeals Judge Richard Posner, who had been mediating between Microsoft, a string of US states and the Department of Justice, finally threw in the towel last Saturday, the last obstacle to the Microsoft judgment was removed.

After Posner admitted that the differences between the Government and the company were "too deep-seated to be bridged", both sides declared that they had gone the extra mile. Unfortunately, neither had come anywhere near completing the course.

Instead, to Posner's clear annoyance, a flood of leaks were made from both sides.

Microsoft needed to demonstrate that it would accept an agreement as an alternative to tying up its lawyers for years. In the end, it chose to pay their bills right up to the Supreme Court.

The ruling

  • Microsoft is guilty of predatory behaviour

  • Microsoft maintained its monopoly power by anti-competitive means

  • Microsoft unlawfully tied its Web browser to its operating system in an attempt to monopolise the Web browser market

  • Microsoft prevented Netscape's Navigator browser and Sun's Java environment fulfilling their potential to open the market for Intel-based PC operating systems

  • Microsoft's marketing arrangements did not constitute unlawful exclusive dealing

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