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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-30 Print this article Print

The settlement news has also received a mixed response from technology industry and lobbying groups. Jim Prendergast, executive director of Americans for Technology Leadership (ATL), a Washington-based coalition of technology professionals, consumers and organizations that want to limit government regulation of technology, welcomed the settlement as "a significant step for the industry in moving away from the era of excessive litigation." Members of the technology industry need to focus their time and resources on innovation and competition, not litigation, he said. "This will allow Microsoft, AOL and the entire industry to focus on creating better products and serving consumers … This settlement is good news for consumers, the industry and the entire economy," he said.
But a spokesman for the American Antitrust Institute (AAI), a Washington advocacy organization, said that while the settlement benefits both companies, it is likely to harm competition and consumer choice.
"Before this settlement Microsoft dominated the Web browser market, but it lacked control over the distribution of digital music and other multimedia content over the Internet. After this settlement Microsoft is well on its way to erecting a tollbooth on the Internet through which all multimedia content must pass. Consumers will be caught in a vice grip, both when they enter the Internet and when they try to download multimedia with content from it," he said. AOL had also filed its antitrust suit because of Microsofts anticompetitive behavior in the market for Internet browsers, the AAI spokesman pointed out. This was the same activity that the Department of Justice challenged in its 1998 antitrust complaint. "A unanimous decision in 2001 by the U.S. Court of Appeals held that Microsoft had violated the antitrust laws by illegally attempting to maintain its Windows operating system monopoly by destroying Netscape as an effective browser perceived to be a potential competitor to Windows. "The Department of Justice subsequently entered into a settlement with Microsoft that the American Antitrust Institute and many others have criticized for doing nothing to restore competition to the browser market," he said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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