Mario Monti rebuttal?

Joe Llywelyn Griffith Blakesley dark1 at
Fri Mar 26 13:18:48 UTC 2004

(Being lurking here for a while, thought I'd post.)

I thought I would point out that  no where does the press release mention anything about MS being allowed to charge fees. I doubt it means what Samba et al believe it does as the EC are genuinely trying to show that they are not in bed with MS and are going to be forceful but fair on them. They would tell it as it is in their press release. 

>>I agree that we need to leave the benefit of doubt for CEC and wait until they publish the decision, but from the imperfect info we have I'd say they could put their interfaces on RAND in as much as they can patent software. <<

I think that it is possible but extremely unlikely that uers of the interface information will have to pay MS, but we obviously do have to wait until the full decision is published.

We must, however, remember that the EC are IMO genuinely trying to produce a decision that is fair to all sides, and that Mr. Monti is trying to show that he cannot be pushed around or bribed by MS.  In this context, I find it unlikely that the EC would issue a ruling that MS's competitiors would have to pay MS for information required to stop MS from extending its illegal monopoly.  I find it even more unlikely that if the EC had issued such a ruling, their summary of that ruling would not explicitly state this crucial fact so as to not misrepresent the ruling in their summary (and possibly, when people found out the actual ruling was different from what the summary suggested, reduce the repute of the EC).

I also think that the EC anti-competition section have thought out this ruling after their five year investigation, and would definitely realise the possible anti-competitive consequences of forcing competitors to get licences from Microsoft.  I also think the EC are not letting MS bully them, which would be the conclusion I would draw, if, as other thread subscribers have suggested, competitors will have to, as part of the ruling, pay MS for RAND licenses.  

Mabe I'm an optimist, but I initially interpreted the sentence in the EC press release (which is unfortunately pretty vague ATM) about "renumeration" for "intellectual property" on "interfaces" in a different way.  Given its context in the press release, I intepreted it to mean that the EC
may compulsorily public-domain MS's European exclusive intellectual exploitation rights (EIER) in relation to relevant interfaces, and give MS "renumeration" in the form of a reduction in MS's fine.  This is of course one of multiple interpretations.

If the EC are giving renumeration to MS, I wonder how they will wrok out the amount.  It might be that the renumeration is negligible as the EC may consider that the only value of MS's EIER on interfaces in the EU may be for MS to use it to further their illegal practices. The market value might be interpreted to be low.  Just an idea.

I'm not sure what EIER would be relvant to "interfaces" & SMB. Patents?  Would trade secrets count in this context?

Of course it is unclear what the EC means by "intellectual property", "open up", "interfaces" or "renumeration, and hoefully this will become clear in due course.

Happy hacking &c,
Joe Ll. G. Blakesley

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