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The Register: MS tells EU it's always pushed standards, interoperability

Aug 03, 2000, 23:57 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Lettice)

"Microsoft has responded swiftly to the antitrust action the European Commission launched earlier today, claiming in a statement that it already provides all the information its competitors need in order to have their server software interoperate with Windows. The Commission has served Microsoft with a "statement of objections" claiming that it doesn't, and that it gives unequal access to information, depending on whether companies are friends or foes."

"Microsoft's readiness to share vital technical information with its competitors will come as news to many of them; not least Sun Microsystems, whose complaint to the Commission started this antitrust process. It will also no doubt surprise Apple, which had to kick and scream before it could get beta code a few years back. Apple's "technical information" problems with QuickTime also figured in the US trial, and RealNetworks' Rob Glaser seemed to have similar problems - ah, how soon they forget..."

"But the pay-off line in the statement is that Microsoft doesn't believe the law requires it "to share its secrets with direct competitors." Sun argued, successfully, to the Commission that Microsoft's monopoly position on the desktop obliged it to provide greater disclosure than it was prepared to make, and Microsoft is - somewhat shortsightedly, given Monti's comments - reverting to the copyright bolthole."

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