09.20.11

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New Antitrust Investigation Into Illegal Microsoft Bundling, But Antitrust Action Over Patent Extortion Overlooked

Posted in Antitrust, Microsoft, Patents, Search at 1:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Extortion company escapes untouched

Al Capone mugshot and Steve Ballmer

Summary: Microsoft racketeering comes to Casio and the regulators are catching up with Microsoft’s older abuses of the market, which rely on elimination of choice rather than outright extortion of the competitors that won (with Linux)

Microsoft is bleeding billions in areas that are not reported or under-reported (the company has billions in debt to repay). According to this timely new article, the ‘hidden’ part keeps getting uglier, with Bing now losing at the pace of $4,000,000,000 per year. Surely Microsoft will need to come up with a new business model and the mafia-like business model is what Microsoft chose when it signed a deal with Novell, which is why we cannot ignore Microsoft. It uses patent trolls to attack Linux (an antitrust violation) and builds anti-Linux legal instruments/cartels (which are an antitrust violation too).

According to this one Microsoft booster, the list of Linux companies Microsoft is extorting has just increased somewhat. “On September 20,” writes the booster, “Microsoft officials said that Microsoft and Casio Computer Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Casio Worldwide, had entered into a “a broad, multiyear patent cross-licensing agreement that, among other things, will provide Casio’s customers with patent coverage for their use of Linux in certain Casio devices.””

It is possibly only FAT but Microsoft states that it is “Linux” just to scare people. That’s based on what we recently learned from OIN. This whole thing is secret because if details were known, it would be easier to nail Microsoft for antitrust violations (see the Barnes & Nobel case). According to another one of today’s ZDNet blog pieces (masquerading as news), “Spain begins antitrust investigation into Microsoft,” but as we learned from Cablegate, US politicians are likely to help Microsoft dodge this. To quote the nature of this investigation:

Spain’s competition commission said on Tuesday it has opened an anti-trust investigation into Microsoft’s Spanish and Irish subsidiaries, on grounds that the company “blocked the sale by third parties” of PC software licences.

Though details at this stage are sketchy, it is thought that the watchdog believes that collected information could indicate a possible violation of Spanish competition regulations.

The investigation and ruling “must be completed within 18 months“, the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch reports.

How about they start going after Microsoft for patent extortion? There are clearly laws relating to racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and it’s a more urgent matter.

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6 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    September 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Gravatar

    “It is possibly only FAT but Microsoft states that it is “Linux” just to scare people.”

    It is possibly…

    LOL!

    Why not talk about what is?

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    September 21, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Gravatar

    Again, M$ is not naming specific patents. How is this not being pursued under the RICO act?

  3. twitter said,

    September 21, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft’s new firmware will keep people from using gnu/linux by making every PC a cell phone like jail with “UEFI secure booting”.

    Microsoft requires that machines conforming to the Windows 8 logo program and running a client version of Windows 8 ship with secure boot enabled. … A system that ships with only OEM and Microsoft keys will not boot a generic copy of Linux.

    This is why we need to keep an anti-trust eye on Microsoft. ACPI did not do the job for them and now they roll this garbage out. The author advises people not to panic and that’s probably good advice because OEMs are in a state of full revolt, but Microsoft’s intent is clear. They seek to eliminate competition with technical barriers.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Regarding the ACPI, here is one of the memos from Comes v Microsoft:
    http://groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=ComesExhN05#E3020

    twitter Reply:

    Yes, thanks, I quote that in my ACPI write up. It shows Bill Gates’ intent when ACPI was created and we can infer the same thing for this new boot mechanism.

  4. twitter said,

    September 21, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Gravatar

    PJ has a sad word about anti-trust today as The Word Perfect and Quatro Pro trails go back to court:

    So, we’re off to the races. Well. Turtle races. The alleged wrongdoing happened between 1994 and 1996. This might clue you in to why antitrust is an approach of last resort. It simply takes too long. Maybe that’s why some decide to do it.
    I really hope some of you can attend. Bill Gates may be called as a witness, if that inspires you. If you’d like to, and you haven’t done so before, you can email me and I’ll give you some instructions. One of the key issues is Microsoft withholding APIs from Novell, and I just came across an exhibit from the Comes v. Microsoft collection here in Groklaw that I think might be relevant on that point.

    Lack of success in previous demands should not make us quit demanding justice in the present, it should make us demand it all the harder. Perhaps this is a way to shuffle money to AttachMate/Novell, but it is surely not justice for all the people who were screwed over nearly 20 years ago.

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