Is Microsoft Behind Antitrust Claims Against Pretty Much Everyone Else Now?

from the it's-all-politics dept

While some feel that the long antitrust fight against Microsoft ended up having little impact, there does appear to be some evidence that Microsoft recognizes what a pain dealing with antitrust accusations are. That seems to be the most reasonable explanation for why Microsoft seems to be showing up behind the scenes in recent antitrust activity against both Google and IBM. With Google, a few small companies with highly dubious claims have stepped up with antitrust claims against Google, but of course, there's a secret Microsoft connection in that these tiny companies with monetary disputes that are a pittance, seem to have secured the help of some super high-powered lawyers who have a long history of working with Microsoft. Hmm...

And then, last week, the news came out that the EU was investigating IBM for supposed antitrust violations -- and, IBM is now claiming that the small companies involved in the complaints are "proxies of Microsoft." Yes, it looks like rather than actually being about protecting consumers, antitrust activity has now become about saddling competitors with a huge distracting fight.

Of course, IBM's activity is a bit shady here as well. Part of the issue was that they were trying to block these companies that make software emulators of IBM hardware. IBM claims that such emulators "pirate IBM's intellectual property." That seems pretty silly. An emulator shouldn't be seen as infringing. Of course, if IBM is found to be violating antitrust behavior, then it may be its own fault here as well: intellectual property is, inherently, about using monopoly power. But, if you rely on one form of monopoly power, you shouldn't be surprised when another form comes back to bite you.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 1:57am

    The cold war is not over.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 2:06am

    Ballmer is taking this to a whole new level alienating entities that he might need in the future and of course making the situation inside Microsoft even worst, as there are rumours that if Ballmer was gone not many would miss him.

    The vindictive prick may just have his ass handed to him one of this days.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Alatar, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 2:16am

    Microsoft against antitrust? So sweet

    That means they will fight in order to make consumers able to buy a computer without having to forcingly pay a windows license (thus increasing the price by a 20% factor) even if you are not willing to use them and/or already own many of those licenses (sold by force with previous computers, MSDNAA licenses, ...).
    Thank you, Microsoft, I hope you will prevail in that fight.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Alatar, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 2:17am

    Wrong comment title

    Of course, I meant "Microsoft against monopolies", you guessed it

     

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  5.  
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    David Gerard (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 3:07am

    And IBM is hardly perfection either

    The day Groklaw accused Jay Maynard (project lead on Hercules) of being a Microsoft shill was the day it terminally, irretrievably, jumped the shark.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 3:59am

    Re: And IBM is hardly perfection either

    Groklaw seems pretty solidly a pro-IBM site. This was suspected by some during the SCO case, but their attitude to the TurboHercules affair confirms it.

    And who is “Pamela Jones”, anyway?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 4:19am

    Re: Re: And IBM is hardly perfection either

    Daryl, is that you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Someone, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 4:25am

    Re: And IBM is hardly perfection either

    Yes. Except that never happened.

     

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  9.  
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    designerfx (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 4:59am

    Re: And IBM is hardly perfection either

    where do you exactly come up with this imagination?

    the problem with the IBM turbohercules scenario is nobody reads what's going on.

    It's not about an emulator infringing (mike). It's about TH telling IBM that IBM should license under TH's license instead of their own, and IBM said no. Is that really a surprise?

     

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  10.  
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    David Gerard (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 6:14am

    Re: Re: And IBM is hardly perfection either

    No, it's about IBM waving patent threats at TurboHercules, over functionality in the upstream Hercules project. When Jay cried foul, Groklaw said he must be a Microsoft shill.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 6:33am

    And so we have a full and complete explanation of the SCO affair.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 6:38am

    The same Microsoft that puts ads first and privacy second.

    http://www.boingboing.net/2010/08/03/microsoft-quashed-ie.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 7:07am

    Sounds like IBM has something to hide in stopping emulators. What did they steal?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Someone, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: And IBM is hardly perfection either

    Again, this never happened.

    Show me where Groklaw said Maynard is a Microsoft shill. His name appears only once on the entire site, so it shouldn't be very hard. Links. Provide them. Proof. Otherwise you're just a troll.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: And IBM is hardly perfection either

    "Groklaw seems pretty solidly a pro-IBM site."

    Anti-microsoft is a better way to put it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    jonathon, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: And IBM is hardly perfection either

    IBM gave that list of potentially infringing patents to TruboHercules because TurboHercules _REQUESTED_ it.


    What did TurboHercules expect? They asked for something. They received what they asked for. Now they are whining about receiving what they asked for.

     

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  17.  
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    jendelui, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 10:43pm

    Misinformation abounds

    I'd like to see actual links to anywhere Groklaw has posted incorrect information without a corresponding correction, please. Otherwise excuse me if I label you a troll.

    The misinformation presented both in the article and in the comments is really stunning!

    Please get the facts straight Mike - you claim IBM is trying to prevent an emulator being built. They are not. They are being taken to task for not fixing their software so it works on the emulator, or alternatively not changing their license to allow it to be hacked to run on the emulator.

    Why should they? The same argument goes for why Apple is within its rights to not make its software run on non-approved hardware and back it up with license conditions.

    You could use the same argument made by Mike to wonder why Microsoft hasn't made their DirectX tech run on Linux. Apparently Miscrosoft is being as evil as IBM in not enabling Linux to natively run DirectX.

    Thats like the corner store demanding that Maccas grant them franchise, just because they have a store doesn't mean Maccas is obligated to give them squat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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