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. Patent Strengthening Would Necessarily Mean Lowering the Number of Patents Granted After Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101

    The concept of patent strength is being distorted in all sorts of ways and acronyms like IPR still being used not to describe the process by which bad patents get eliminated but to spread propaganda like 'intellectual' 'property' 'rights'



  2. Watchtroll's Reaffirmed Hatred Towards Science and Technology, Shattering the Myth About Patent Law Firms Trying to 'Help' Innovation

    The anti-technology rhetoric (what they call derogatorily "Big Tech") of patent maximalists is ruining their old narrative which goes something along the lines of helping inventors



  3. Nearly Half of Patent Applications at the EPO Are (at Least Partly) Software Patents, According to the EPO, and Not Many Patents Are European (Foreign, Not Domestic)

    With lack of care for examiners, for European businesses and for science in general the EPO carries on unabated; its agenda seems to be steered by Team UPC, which is looking to profit from lots of foreign lawsuits across Europe (relying on low-quality patents that wouldn't pass muster in national courts)



  4. Patent Factory Europe (PFE) is a Patent Troll's Publicity Stunt, Attempting to Frame a Predator as the Small Businesses' Friend and Ally

    Patent troll "France Brevets" with its tarnished name (it's the shame of France, a major source of shame other than Battistelli) has decided to do a charm offensive which characterises it as a friend of small firms (SMEs)



  5. Alice, Which Turns Four, Has Saved Billions of Dollars Previously Wasted on 'Protection' Money (Notably Patent Trolls)

    Alice has turned 4 (just five days ago) and software patents have never looked weaker (close to impossible to enforce in high courts in the United States), lowering the incentive to pursue such patents in the first place



  6. Links 23/6/2018: Kodi 18 Alpha 2, Peppermint 9, Wine 3.11

    Links for the day



  7. Somewhat Underwhelming Reception for US Patent Number 10,000,000 (Which Actually Isn't)

    While US patent number 10,000,000 did, in fact, get issued (several days ago) there are un-ignorable reminders that a lot more patents exist and the high number says more about neglected quality than actual, objective success



  8. The United States' Supreme Court Takes the Side of Patent Maximalists, for a Change

    WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp. reaches its conclusion; while it has zero effect on patent scope, it does serve to show that the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) isn’t inherently biased against patents in general



  9. Mainstream Media in Germany Covers Battistelli's Corruption at the EPO Just as He Leaves

    Mainstream German media writes about Battistelli's scandals that nobody seems eager or wishes to discuss, let alone bring up; law-centric German media covers the now-famous open letter from German law firms (Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald, and Vossius & Partner)



  10. Links 22/6/2018: PulseAudio 12.0, Krita 4.1 Beta, LabPlot 2.5, Git 2.18.0

    Links for the day



  11. “Dr Ernst Should be Forced by National Politicians to Step Down With Immediate Effect” After Battistelli's Latest EPO Scandals

    Further discussions about the horrible legacy of Battistelli and his protectors, who seem to be interested in a patent trolls-friendly patent system which devalues workers and consciously lowers the patent bar (at all costs, even violation of laws and constitutions)



  12. Links 21/6/2018: Microsoft's 'Damage Control' Amid Role in ICE Scandals, 11-Hour Azure Downtime (Again), GNOME 3.29.3, and More GNU/Linux Wins

    Links for the day



  13. Battistelli and Topić Lose Their Bogus 'Case' Against Judge Corcoran After They Defamed Him and Ruined His Career/Life

    The SLAPP action against Judge Patrick Corcoran, who has so far won all cases involving the EPO, is finally dismissed in Germany; what remains is an ugly legacy at the EPO, wherein everyone bold enough to say something about corruption at the top is having his or her life — not just career — destroyed



  14. Even Media of the Patent Microcosm Mentions the Decline in Quality of Patents at the EPO, Based on Its Very Own Stakeholders, While IAM Ignores the News

    The whole world basically accepts, based on patent examiners as well as those whom they interact with (patent agents), that patent quality at the EPO has sunk; but the EPO and IAM continue to vigorously deny that as it threatens some people's nefarious agenda



  15. Links 20/6/2018: Qt 5.11.1, Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU 33, HHVM 3.27.0, Microsoft Helping ICE

    Links for the day



  16. Patent Extremists Are Unable to Find Federal Circuit Cases That Help Them Mislead on Alice

    Patent extremists prefer talking about Mayo but not Alice when it comes to 35 U.S.C. § 101; Broadcom is meanwhile going on a 'fishing expedition', looking to profit from patents by calling for embargo through the ITC



  17. What Use Are 10 Million Patents That Are of Low Quality in a Patent Office Controlled by the Patent 'Industry'?

    The patent maximalists are celebrating overgranting; the USPTO, failing to heed the warning from patent courts, continues issuing far too many patents and a new paper from Mark Lemley and Robin Feldman offers a dose of sobering reality



  18. The Eastern District of Texas is Where Asian Companies/Patents/Trolls Still Go After TC Heartland

    Proxies of Longhorn IP and KAIST (Katana Silicon Technologies LLC and KAIST IP US LLC, respectively) roam Texas in pursuit of money of out nothing but patents and aggressive litigation; there's also a Microsoft connection



  19. EPO Insiders Correct the Record of Benoît Battistelli’s Tyranny and Abuse of Law: “Legal Harassment and Retaliation”

    Battistelli’s record, as per EPO-FLIER 37, is a lot worse than the Office cares to tell stakeholders, who are already complaining about decline in patent quality



  20. Articles About a Unitary Patent System Are Lies and Marketing From Law Firms With 'Lawsuits Lust'

    Team UPC has grown louder with its lobbying efforts this past week; the same lies are being repeated without much of a challenge and press ownership plays a role in that



  21. The Decline in Patent Quality at the EPO Causes Frivolous Lawsuits That Only Lawyers Profit From

    The European Patent Office (EPO) will continue granting low-quality European Patents under the leadership of the Battistelli-'nominated' Frenchman, António Campinos; this is bad news for science and technology as that quite likely means a lot more lawsuits without merit (which only lawyers profit from)



  22. What Battistelli's Workers Think of His Latest EPO Propaganda

    "Modernising the EPO" is what Battistelli calls a plethora of human rights abuses and corruption



  23. Links 19/6/2018: Total War: WARHAMMER II Confirmed for GNU/Linux, DragonFlyBSD 5.2.2 Released

    Links for the day



  24. More Media Reports About Decline in Quality of European Patents (Granted by the EPO)

    What the media is saying about the letter from Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner whilst EPO communications shift attention to shallow puff pieces about how wonderful Benoît Battistelli is



  25. Beware Team UPC's Biggest Two Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Claims that a Unified Patent Court (UPC) will commence next year are nothing but a fantasy of the Liar in Chief, Benoît Battistelli, who keeps telling lies to French media (some of which he passes EPO money to, just like he passes EPO money to his other employer)



  26. Diversity at the EPO

    Two decades of EPO with 16-17 years under the control of French Presidents (and nowadays predominantly French management in general with Inventor Award held in France almost half the time) is "diversity at the EPO"



  27. Orrin Hatch, Sponsored the Most by the Pharmaceutical Industry, Tries to Make Its Patents Immune From Scrutiny (PTAB)

    Orrin Hatch is the latest example of laws being up for sale, i.e. companies can 'buy' politicians to act as their 'couriers' and pass laws for them, including laws pertaining to patents



  28. Links 17/6/2018: Linux 4.18 RC1 and Deepin 15.6 Released

    Links for the day



  29. To Keep the Patent System Alive and Going Practitioners Will Have to Accept Compromises on Scope Being Narrowed

    35 U.S.C. § 101 still squashes a lot of software patents, reducing confidence in US patents; the only way to correct this is to reduce patent filings and file fewer lawsuits, judging their merit in advance based on precedents from higher courts



  30. The Affairs of the USPTO Have Turned Into Somewhat of a Battle Against the Courts, Which Are Simply Applying the Law to Invalidate US Patents

    The struggle between law, public interest, and the Cult of Patents (which only ever celebrates more patents and lawsuits) as observed in the midst of recent events in the United States


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