Microsoft fails to force rivals to hand over anti-trust documents

Microsoft has failed in its attempt to force Oracle and Sun Microsystems to hand over documents covering their dealings with the European Commission, regarding Microsoft’s alleged non-compliance with the Commission’s anti-trust judgement.

Microsoft has failed in its attempt to force Oracle and Sun Microsystems to hand over documents covering their dealings with the European Commission, regarding Microsoft’s alleged non-compliance with the Commission’s anti-trust judgement.

Microsoft is currently involved in a two-day compliance hearing in Brussels, and is facing a daily fine of £1.4m if the Commission sticks to its guns on an earlier decision, and says Microsoft still hasn’t complied with the 2004 judgement.

Microsoft wanted the documents from Oracle and Sun Microsystems to help with its case at the hearing, but it now won’t get them.

Other courts are still considering Microsoft’s requests to force IBM and Novell to hand over similar anti-trust documents.

Microsoft had alleged that the European Commission had acted unfairly by encouraging communications between an independent compliance trustee and Microsoft’s rivals.

A Californian court told Microsoft it was trying to portray the Commission as an “adversary” in its claim.

However, the court confirmed the Commission’s neutrality on the issue and refused the company’s document request.

After Microsoft protested about the way the Commission had behaved, the Commission published the terms of reference for the independent compliance trustee’s work.

These included the right to speak to Microsoft’s rivals in a confidential way. The Commission said Microsoft had agreed to these terms of reference. The Brussels hearing finishes on 31 March.

 

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