Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A Less-Public Path to Changes In Antitrust

Filed under
Microsoft

Throughout Microsoft Corp.'s long-running defense against charges that it broke antitrust laws was an intriguing subtext: Technology industries are so new and different that many aspects of traditional antitrust law don't apply.

It's a thorny issue, one that Congress might even touch on when it considers a nominee to replace R. Hewitt Pate, who resigned this week as head the antitrust division at the Justice Department.

But as usual in today's Washington, the important decisions don't get ironed out in places as public as congressional hearings. Instead, significant revisions of U.S. antitrust law are being hashed out by a group composed mainly of lawyers who represent large companies.

And Microsoft -- found to be an illegal monopolist on two continents -- is likely to have some influential allies.

The work is being carried out by an organization called the Antitrust Modernization Commission. Created by Congress in 2002, the commission is examining a series of questions that challenge long-standing antitrust enforcement policies.

The head of the 12-member commission is Deborah A. Garza, a partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in Washington. Garza's partner and close associate in the firm, Charles F. Rule, represents Microsoft in court proceedings that monitor the company's compliance with its consent decree with the Justice Department.

Also on the commission is John L. Warden, based in New York with the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. The gravelly-voiced Warden was Microsoft's lead outside attorney during much of its case.
Alan J. Meese, the commission's senior adviser and a law professor at William & Mary, wrote papers during the case arguing against the government's proposal to break up Microsoft into two companies.

For several months, the commission has been soliciting requests for topics to study and recommendations on the issues it decided to address. Actively participating in submitting suggestions is a task force of the American Bar Association led by Richard J. Wallis, an in-house Microsoft attorney who heads the ABA's antitrust section.

The issues the commission is tackling could have broad impact, and many are near and dear to Microsoft. Among them: Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming

Pro tip: Find tons of open-source Android software with F-Droid

If you're looking for truly open-source software for the Android platform, you don't have to do a ton of searching or check through licenses from within the Google Play Store. All you have to do is download a simple tool called F-Droid. With this tool, you can download and install apps (from quite a large listing) as easily as you can from the Google Play Store. You won't, however, find F-Droid in the Google Play Store. Instead, you have to download the .apk file and install it manually. Once it's installed, the rest is just a matter of searching for an app and tapping to install. Read more

Librem 15 Linux Laptop Set To Close At Around $400k USD

The manufacturing goal was $250k USD and thanks to the extension they're now set to close the campaign at the end of today at around $400k. With the extra funds, they're planning to add hardware kill switches for the microphone/camera and for all RF/WiFI/Bluetooth adapters. Those behind the project are also looking at replacing the HDMI port with two mini Thunderbolt ports. Read more