Did Microsoft Threaten Linux OEM?
Massachusetts won't roll over in its antitrust case; it's investigating new charges of Microsoft misdeeds.If there was any lingering doubt, Massachusetts, the sole state refusing to sign on to a Microsoft Corp.-crafted federal antitrust settlement, has now made it clear that it will not ease up in the pursuit of tougher remedies. The Bay State, which is investigating whether Microsoft already has violated the settlement, set up a Web site and telephone hotline to gather complaints about Microsofts conduct. Massachusetts told the court that it is investigating whether Microsoft used illegal means to punish a computer manufacturer for promoting rival operating system Linux, whether it violated an exclusive dealings prohibition, and whether it failed to properly disclose communications protocol information, among other things. The allegations were based on complaints and tips, and have not been proven, the state told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia July 3. Microsoft maintains that it is complying with the federal settlement, which the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia approved in November, 2002.
In 2000, the Redmond, Wash., software maker was found to have maintained an illegal monopoly in the desktop operating system market. Its illegal conduct included retaliation against original equipment manufacturers that promoted non-Microsoft middleware, namely the Netscape Navigator browser. One of the provisions of the federal settlement is that Microsoft would not punish OEMs for promoting rival products.