06.07.10

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Antitrust Complaint Filed Against Microsoft/MSNBC

Posted in Antitrust, Marketing, Microsoft at 1:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

NBC and Microsoft

Summary: BanxCorp “accuses the firms of entering into a conspiracy in restraint of trade and forming a cartel”

Microsoft’s bizarre relationship with GE’s ‘news’ channel is a subject we addressed a month ago, having already scrutinised it for years. Microsoft is just given too much control over the media and some days ago Microsoft launched a comedy channel. Here is more coverage.

MSN’s latest content partnership: A deal with GrindNetworks to launch a new “comedy channel” called theBubble. The video-heavy site, which launched today, is centered around a web show of the same name; it also features viral videos and other “funny” clips.

Although it is hard to find a permanent link for the following news, an antitrust complaint is said to have been filed against Microsoft and NBC Universal. From Reuters:

BanxCorp announced that a federal antitrust complaint was filed against nine firms including Dow Jones & Co., The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and others, for engaging in unlawful per se horizontal market division, customer allocation, and price fixing agreements with competitors in the market for bank rate websites throughout the United States. The complaint filed by BanxCorp in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, accuses the firms of entering into a conspiracy in restraint of trade and forming a cartel with their competitor Bankrate.com together with approximately a hundred competing bank rate website operators including some of the media conglomerates in the United States. The complaint estimates that the damages caused by the price-fixing cartel may exceed five hundred million dollars, to be trebled under the antitrust statute. The harm to the competitive marketplace and consumers is alleged to be of equal or greater magnitude. The defendants named in the complaint are Dow Jones & Company Inc. and Fox News Network LLC – both subsidiaries of The News Corporation, The New York Times Company, CNBC Inc., a unit of General Electric’s NBC Universal, Time Warner Inc.’s Cable News Network Inc., MSNBC Interactive News LLC – a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and NBC Universal; AOL Inc., Tree.com Inc.’s LendingTree LLC and Move, Inc.

As we have shown before, Microsoft is trying to spread on the Web and to police it using PR agencies. Microsoft is — and has for a very long time been — primarily a marketing company. It takes existing ideas, sometimes without permission, and then mass-markets them. Here is another new Microsoft deal:

Clear Channel Airports and Monster Media have signed up Microsoft Corp. as an advertiser in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Being Seattle, this preference is not exactly shocking.

“A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.”

Aesop

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