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October 21, 2005

Microsoft Antitrust Lawsuit Still Working

While the Justice Department significantly scaled back pressure on Microsoft after Bush's selection in 2000, the overall Microsoft defeat in the courts continues to restrain Microsoft's more anticompetitive tendences. Take the music industry:

Microsoft Corp., already under government scrutiny over its behavior toward competitors, told manufacturers of iPod-like portable audio devices that under a new marketing program they would not be allowed to distribute rivals' music player software but pulled back after one company protested..

The plan would have precluded manufacturers of those devices from distributing software to consumers other than Microsoft's Windows Media Player in exchange for Microsoft-supplied CDs. Legal and industry experts said Microsoft's demands probably would have violated the landmark 2002 antitrust settlement

One more good example of why regulation -- and the occasional government lawsuit -- are needed to protect consumers in a world where exclusive contracts and proprietary standards are always threatening to undercut consumer options.

Posted by Nathan at October 21, 2005 09:16 AM