EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.10.11

Cablegate: Director of Microsoft Netherlands Thought an Honorary Doctorate to Bill Gates Would Appease the Competition Commissioner

Posted in Antitrust, Cablegate, Microsoft at 10:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

Summary: Regulation against several companies including Microsoft and how Microsoft viewed the appointment of Neelie Kroes at the time

FROM the following “SENSITIVE” Cablegate cable we learn that, according Director of Microsoft Netherlands Michel van der Bel, “the company had had good relations with Kroes in the past, including the granting to Bill Gates of an honorary doctorate from Nyenrode University during Kroes’ tenure as President there.”


UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 002040 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON [Economic Conditions], PREL [External Political Relations], 
PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], PINR [Intelligence], 
NL [Netherlands], EUN [European Union] 
SUBJECT: DUTCH CELEBRATE CAPTURE OF EU COMPETITION PORTFOLIO 
 
REF: THE HAGUE 01955 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED.  PLEASE HANDLE ACCORDINGLY. 
 
¶1.  (SBU)  SUMMARY.  The Dutch are clearly satisfied and 
claiming victory over the appointment of Neelie Kroes-Smit 
(Kroes) as the new European Commissioner for Competition. 
Prime Minister Balkenende's strategy of holding out for a 
"heavy" portfolio appears to have paid off.  Both the 
Netherlands' and Balkenende's image are likely to get a boost 
from this success.  Kroes' reputation as a free-market and 
pro-Atlantic thinker could be a real plus for soothing 
tensions in the U.S.-EU relationship as well as opening a new 
era of dialogue between Brussels and big business operating 
in the EU.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  (U)  The Dutch press is hailing the appointment of former 
Transport Minister Neelie Kroes-Smit as the new European 
Commissioner for Competition as a real victory.  All August 
13 Dutch morning papers included front-page stories on the 
appointment of Kroes, who comes from an entrepreneurial 
Rotterdam family that founded a transport business in the 
Netherlands.  (See reftel for further biographic 
information.)  Most commentators acknowledged surprise but 
also satisfaction with new European Commission President 
Barroso's selection of Kroes for the prized job of regulating 
mergers and acquisitions within the European Union as well as 
state subsides.  Spokespersons for all major political 
parties have praised Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende for 
his "subtle" negotiating strategy and success in winning for 
the Netherlands what Liberals (free-market,conservative VVD) 
Lower House Leader Jozias van Aartsen called a "dream 
portfolio for a dream candidate."  (Kroes is a VVD member.) 
Christian Democratic (center right CDA) spokesperson Maxime 
Verhagen spoke of winning the "top prize."  Even the main 
opposition Labor (PvdA) spokesperson Frans Timmmermans, who 
had previously questioned Kroes' nomination by Balkenende and 
predicted that she would receive a less important portfolio, 
conceded his mistake and complimented Balkenende's cabinet 
and Kroes on the nomination. 
 
¶3.  (U)  Jacques Schraven, President of the influential 
VNO-NCW Employers organization also praised the "outstanding 
lobbying" of Balkenende, noting the importance of Kroes' 
position for establishing more "direct lines" for business 
and its boost for the Netherlands' image.  Other reports 
describe Barroso's appointment of Kroes and others as giving 
a larger role to smaller member states within the EU, 
injecting new life into an "ailing European economy," and 
acknowledging the Netherlands position as the largest net 
contributor to the EU.  Balkenende himself told the press 
that he was "very satisfied," describing Kroes' new job as a 
"core portfolio" in the Commission and her appointment as 
recognition of the key role the Netherlands has and will 
continue to play in the EU.  In an August 12 press conference 
shortly after the announcement, Kroes pledged to maintain 
good contacts with The Hague while not becoming a 
"figurehead" for the GONL in Brussels. 
 
¶4.  (U)  Former Belgian Commissioner for Competition Karel 
van Miert, who also previously held the Transport portfolio, 
publicly advised Kroes that the job's main challenge would be 
to maintain her independence while also proving her knowledge 
of business and her ability to judge issues objectively and 
coherently.  Van Miert praised Kroes, who had served as an 
advisor to Miert in the early 1990s while he was Transport 
Commissioner, for her energy and strength, noting that her 
formidable negotiating skills would serve her well.  He also 
implied that the anti-trust case against Microsoft, brought 
by outgoing Commissioner Mario Monti, could be a real test of 
her abilities, especially if the European Court of First 
Instance agrees to Microsoft's request to overturn Monti's 
decision.  The Director of Microsoft Netherlands Michel van 
der Bel refused to comment to the press on the case, but 
noted that the company had had good relations with Kroes in 
the past, including the granting to Bill Gates of an honorary 
doctorate from Nyenrode University during Kroes' tenure as 
President there.  (Kroes is also likely to inherit the task 
of reaching final settlement of the Commission's five-year 
anti-trust case with Coca-Cola.) 
 
COMMENT -- AT THE TOP IN BRUSSELS 
--------------------------------- 
 
¶5.  (SBU)  Balkenende's August 3 nomination of Kroes as the 
Dutch candidate for European Commissioner was initially met 
with some skepticism among political circles as well as 
annoyance with current Dutch Internal Market Commissioner 
Frits Bolkenstein's decision not to opt for a second term. 
VVD leadership actually decided in June to put Kroes forward 
as a candidate and subsequently reached agreement among the 
three coalition parties VVD, CDA, and Liberal Democrats 
(center left D66) not to name a particular candidate until 
Balkenende was able to negotiate for a "heavy" portfolio. 
Kroes apparently was always the front-runner, although 
Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman was an alternative for the 
Agriculture portfolio in the event that Balkenende's strategy 
failed.  Balkenende reportedly first raised the issue with 
Barroso during a Netherlands-Germany soccer match during the 
July European Championship in Portugal and the discussion 
continued during Netherlands-Portugal game.  Barroso 
continued to ask Balkenende for a female candidate, while 
Balkenende maintained that such an option was only possible 
if the Netherlands received a "heavy" financial-economic 
portfolio.  On Tuesday afternoon, August 3, Barroso made that 
promise by telephone, whereupon Balkenende announced the 
nomination of Kroes. 
 
¶6.  (SBU)  Balkenende's strategy appears to have paid off. 
Both the Netherlands' and Balkenende's image, both 
domestically and internationally, are likely to gain from 
this success, which comes on the heels of the selection of 
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer for the prestigious NATO SYG post. 
Meanwhile, both domestic and international press are lauding 
Kroes as a free-market and pro-Atlantic thinker, whose 
occupancy of the "most important" EU Competition job could 
help to calm tensions in the U.S.-EU relationship and open an 
era of dialogue between Brussels and wary big business.  END 
COMMENT. 
RUSSEL


For a little more about this theme, see the following cables:

Cablegate helps those who study history. Next up we’ll look at some other themes.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    September 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Gravatar

    What is the date of that memo?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Some time in 2004.

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/12/2018: VirtualBox 6.0, RawTherapee 5.5, Mir 1.1.0, LibreOffice 6.1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Links 16/12/2018: DXVK 0.94, WordPress 5.0.1, Fuchsia SDK

    Links for the day



  3. Immunity of the European Patent Office Has Helped Shield Dangerous Thugs From Justice

    The Topić case is set to resume in Croatia as Topić runs out of diplomatic immunity he long enjoyed (and exploited) at the European Patent Office



  4. Patent Law Firms' War on Facts and Constant Lying About Unitary Patent

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) has failed; this, however, is no excuse for constantly lying and it's a problem more people ought to speak about because it stigmatises lawyers as self-serving liars, not a legitimate source of honest legal advice



  5. EPO Chief Economist Yann Ménière Keynote Speaker at Patent Trolls-Funded Event Set Up by the Patent Trolls' Lobby

    The EPO continues to align itself not only with the interests of patent trolls (even those from another continent) but also with the trolls themselves, causing great embarrassment and confusion over the goals/motivations of the Office



  6. The European Patent Organisation (EPO) Loses Legitimacy If (or When) Christoph Ernst Becomes Subservient to António Campinos

    The structural deficiencies of the EPO, where separation of powers does not quite exist, is further pronounced by the imminent role of Christoph Ernst, who gets 'demoted' from pseudo-boss of Campinos to a mere assistant of his



  7. Links 15/12/2018: Cockpit 184, Vivaldi 2.2, Krita 4.1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  8. Links 13/12/2018: IRS Migration, GNOME 3.31.3 Released

    Links for the day



  9. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Decisions Still Uncontroversial Unless One Asks the Patent Maximalists

    Contrary to what the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has claimed, PTAB is liked by companies that actually create things and opposition to PTAB comes from power brokers of the Koch brothers, law firms, and trolls (including those who foolishly repeat them)



  10. Latest Talk From IBM’s Manny Schecter Shows That IBM Hasn't Changed and After the Red Hat Takeover It'll Continue to Promote Software Patents

    IBM's hardheaded attitude and patent aggression unaffected by its strategic acquisition of a company that at least claimed to oppose software patents (whilst at the same time pursuing them)



  11. The European Patent Troll Wants as Much Litigation as Possible

    Patent quality is a concept no longer recognisable at the European Patent Office; all that the management understands is speed and PACE, which it conflates with quality in order to register as much cash as possible before the whole thing comes crashing down (bubbles always implode at the end)



  12. António Campinos Turns His 'Boss' Into His Lapdog, Just Like Battistelli and Kongstad

    The European Patent Organisation expects us to believe that Josef Kratochvíl will keep the Office honest while his predecessor, the German who failed to do anything about Battistelli's abuses, becomes officially subservient to António Campinos



  13. Links 12/12/2018: Mesa 18.3.1 Released, CNCF Takes Control of etcd

    Links for the day



  14. EPO Trust, Leadership and Commitment

    "Trust, leadership and commitment" is the latest publication from EPO insiders, who in the absence of free speech and freedom of association for the union/representation are an essential spotlight on EPO abuses



  15. Links 11/12/2018: Tails 3.11, New Firefox, FreeBSD 12.0

    Links for the day



  16. Number of Filings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Highest in Almost Two Years

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs), which [cref 113718 typically invalidate software patents by citing 35 U.S.C. § 101], are withstanding negative rhetoric and hostility from Iancu



  17. With 'Brexit' in a Lot of Headlines Team UPC Takes the Unitary Patent Lies up a Notch

    Misinformation continues to run like water; people are expected to believe that the UPC, an inherently EU-centric construct, can magically come to fruition in the UK (or in Europe as a whole)



  18. The EPO Not Only Abandoned the EPC But Also the Biotech Directive

    Last week's decision (T1063/18, EPO Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.04) shows that there's still a long way to go before the Office and the Organisation as a whole fulfil their obligation to those who birthed the Organisation in the first placeLast week's decision (T1063/18, EPO Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.04) shows that there's still a long way to go before the Office and the Organisation as a whole fulfil their obligation to those who birthed the Organisation in the first place



  19. Patents on Abstract Things and on Life (or Patents Which Threaten Lives) Merely Threaten the Very Legitimacy of Patent Offices, Including EPO

    Patent Hubris and maximalism pose a threat or a major risk to the very system that they claim to be championing; by reducing the barrier to entry (i.e. introducing low-quality or socially detrimental patents) they merely embolden ardent critics who demand patent systems as a whole be abolished; the EPO is nowadays a leading example of it



  20. Links 10/12/2018: Linux 4.20 RC6 and Git 2.20

    Links for the day



  21. US Courts Make the United States' Patent System Sane Again

    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and other factors are making the patent system in the US a lot more sane



  22. Today's USPTO Grants a Lot of Fake Patents, Software Patents That Courts Would Invalidate

    The 35 U.S.C. § 101 effect is very much real; patents on abstract/nonphysical ideas get invalidated en masse (in courts/PTAB) and Director Andrei Iancu refuses to pay attention as if he's above the law and court rulings don't apply to him



  23. A Month After Microsoft Claimed Patent 'Truce' Its Patent Trolls Keep Attacking Microsoft's Rivals

    Microsoft's legal department relies on its vultures (to whom it passes money and patents) to sue its rivals; but other than that, Microsoft is a wonderful company!



  24. Good News: US Supreme Court Rejects Efforts to Revisit Alice, Most Software Patents to Remain Worthless

    35 U.S.C. § 101 will likely remain in tact for a long time to come; courts have come to grips with the status quo, as even the Federal Circuit approves the large majority of invalidations by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) panels, initiated by inter partes reviews (IPRs)



  25. Florian Müller's Article About SEPs and the EPO

    Report from the court in Munich, where the EPO is based



  26. EPO Vice-President Željko Topić in New Article About Corruption in Croatia

    The Croatian newspaper 7Dnevno has an outline of what Željko Topić has done in Croatia and in the EPO in Munich; it argues that this seriously erodes Croatia's national brand/identity



  27. The Quality of European Patents Continues to Deteriorate Under António Campinos and Software Patents Are Advocated Every Day

    The EPC in the European Patent Office and 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the USPTO annul most if not all software patents; under António Campinos, however, software patents are being granted in Europe and the USPTO exploits similar tricks



  28. Team UPC is Still Spreading False Rumours in an Effort to Trick Politicians and Pressure Judges

    Abuses at the European Patent Office, political turmoil and an obvious legislative coup by a self-serving occupation that produces nothing have already doomed the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC); so now we deal with complete fabrications from Team UPC as they're struggling to make something out of nothing, anonymously smearing opposition to the UPC and anonymously making stuff up



  29. Patents on Life and Patents That Kill the Poor Would Only Delegitimise the European Patent Office

    After Mayo, Myriad and other SCOTUS cases (the basis of 35 U.S.C. § 101) the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is reluctant to grant patents on life; the European Patent Office (EPO), however, goes in the opposite direction, even in defiance of the European Patent Convention



  30. EPO 'Untapped Potential'

    "Campinos is diligently looking for ways to further increase the Office’s output without increasing the number of examiners," says the EPO-FLIER team


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts