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Monday, September 17, 2007

States Ask For Extended Oversight of Microsoft

"Microsoft is just getting a bad luck. Since early September microsoft is just keep suffering."
September hasn't been kind to Microsoft so far. In early September, the Redmond-based company settled its Iowa antitrust case and awarded Iowa consumers $180 million USD -- lawyers in the case received $75 million USD in legal fees.

The same day, Microsoft dropped the price of its Zune from $249 to $199 in order to boost sales for the holiday season. The very next day, Apple dropped a totally revamped lineup of iPods on the market which overshadowed any buzz that Microsoft generated with the price drop.

Apple burned Microsoft again with the announcement of the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store which makes use of the WiFi feature built into the iPhone and iPod touch. Microsoft's Zune also features a built-in WiFi adapter, but has largely been rendered useless.

Today, Microsoft got another dose of bad news. It was announced that California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Massachusetts and D.C. are asking a federal judge to extend their oversight into Microsoft business practices for another five years.

An antitrust settlement reached in the fall of 2002 granted 17 states the ability to hold Microsoft accountable for its compliance with the court’s ruling -- that oversight will come to an end on November 12 if it is not renewed.

"The principal constraint on Microsoft’s ability to abuse its market power will be gone," read a statement issued by the states citing what would happen if oversight powers are not reestablished in November.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly noted that Microsoft is currently in compliance with the antitrust settlement, so that any request for an extension would have to show an "identifiable purpose."

"We're a bit surprised that a few states are now requesting an extension," said Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans.

Evan's comments were in response to the states' complaint that the antitrust settlement was ineffective. Microsoft's contention is that if the states feel that the antitrust settlement was ineffective, there should be no need to extend an "ineffective ruling."

Taken from DailyTech


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