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.

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Companies: google, ibm, microsoft

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Comments on “Is Microsoft Behind Antitrust Claims Against Pretty Much Everyone Else Now?”

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Alatar says:

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.

designerfx (profile) says:

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?

jendelui (user link) says:

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.

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