Antitrust NewsWatch: September 2005

Friday, September 30, 2005

Ballmer to meet with EU antitrust chief | CNET

"Microsoft's chief executive, Steve Ballmer, is scheduled to meet with the antitrust head of the European Commission on October 5, according to a commission representative. Ballmer, who will be in Europe on business, requested the meeting with Neelie Kroes, who heads the competition bureau."
Ballmer to meet with EU antitrust chief | CNET

Monday, September 26, 2005

Kroes seeks EC anti-trust policy that benefits consumers | MSN Money

"NEW YORK (Financial Times) - Neelie Kroes, the European Union antitrust chief, wants to change the way the Brussels regulator fights abuses by dominant companies such as Microsoft and Coca-Cola, by concentrating on business practices that hurt consumers. 'I like aggressive competition including by dominant companies and I don't care if it may hurt competitors, as long as it ultimately benefits consumers,' she told an antitrust conference in New York on September 23."
MSN Money - Financial Times Business News: Kroes seeks regime that benefits consumer

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hollywood studios unite in piracy battle | CNET

"LOS ANGELES--The six major Hollywood studios, hoping to gain more control over their technological destiny, have agreed to jointly finance a multimillion-dollar research laboratory to speed the development of new ways to foil movie pirates. The new nonprofit consortium is to be called Motion Picture Laboratories--MovieLabs for short--and will begin operation later this year. According to Hollywood executives involved in its establishment, MovieLabs will have a budget of more than $30 million for its first two years."
Hollywood studios unite in piracy battle | CNET

EU antitrust chief weighs more action on Microsoft | International Herald Tribune

"BRUSSELS - Almost 18 months after ruling that Microsoft had abused its dominance in the market for desktop operating system software, Europe's antitrust authority is considering opening new cases against the company, its top official, Neelie Kroes, said on September 19."
EU antitrust chief weighs more action on Microsoft - Business - International Herald Tribune

Friday, September 16, 2005

Movie studios face scrutiny on bookings | (subscription required)

"As part of a long-running investigation into whether movie booking practices unfairly disadvantage independent theaters that compete against major chains, California state Attorney General Bill Lockyer issued subpoenas seeking information from the major Hollywood studios related to how they place major releases in theaters. The inquiry focuses on the practice of 'clearance,' in which movie studios grant exclusive rights to their films within specific zones. Some theater chains are also now suing bigger rivals over the practice, including two federal lawsuits filed this week by the midsize theater circuit Hollywood Theaters Inc." - Movie Studios Face Scrutiny on Bookings

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Justice Dept. sues realtor group | Business Week

"(AP) The Justice Department sued the National Association of Realtors on September 8, claiming it unfairly limits competition by allowing real estate agents to withhold home listings from Internet-based brokers. The antitrust lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, follows lengthy negotiations in which the government pressed the Realtors to drop restrictions designed to protect traditional brokers. The association announced changes to its original plan Thursday, but the new steps were insufficient to ward off the lawsuit because the organization kept in place brokers' ability to discriminate against competitors who post listings online, said J. Bruce McDonald, deputy assistant attorney general in the Antitrust Division."
Justice Dept. sues realtor group

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Microsoft wins right to appeal Novell suit | CNET

"A federal judge in Baltimore has accepted Microsoft's request for an appeal against the remaining charges in its antitrust suit with Novell. U.S. District Court Judge J. Frederick Motz ruled that there was sufficient evidence for Microsoft to pursue its appeal of the last two claims standing in the suit, which charges the software giant with engaging in unfair competition with Novell's WordPerfect and Quattro Pro applications. In June, Motz dismissed four related antitrust claims after determining those charges weren't filed within the proper time frame."
Microsoft wins right to appeal Novell suit | CNET

Monday, September 05, 2005

Lexmark's cartridge deal and box-top licence upheld | OUT-LAW.COM

"A US Appeals Court has endorsed a scheme that offers Lexmark customers $30 off the price of a laser printer cartridge if they agree - by opening the box - to return the empty cartridge to Lexmark rather than seeking a refill from a third party. The Arizona Cartridge Remanufacturers Association (ACRA), a trade association, had challenged the offer in 2001, alleging that the company engaged in false and misleading advertising in its promotion of the rebate program for laser cartridges sold at lower prices than identical Lexmark cartridges."
Lexmark's cartridge deal and box-top licence upheld | OUT-LAW.COM

Microsoft Antitrust: Three U.S. think-tanks ask to help Microsoft |

"Three U.S. think-tanks which campaign against government regulation have asked permission to present arguments in support of Microsoft Corp. as part of its appeal of a European Union antitrust ruling. One of the three organizations, the International Intellectual Property Institute, has a Microsoft employee on its board of directors. The other organizations are the Progress and Freedom Foundation and the Institute for Policy Innovation." - Microsoft Antitrust: Three U.S. think-tanks ask to help Microsoft

Friday, September 02, 2005

NY judge certifies antitrust class action against Microsoft |

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Karla Moskowitz has certified a class action suit in Cox v. Microsoft, 105193/00, on behalf of consumers who charge they were harmed by the software maker's anti-competitive conduct. Among the practices noted in the action is Microsoft's requirement that computer manufacturers agree to pay a licensing fee to Microsoft for each computer shipped, regardless of its operating system. The suit claims such practices harmed consumers by denying them choice and inflating prices. - N.Y. Judge Certifies Antitrust Class Action Against Microsoft

Intel denies wrongdoing in AMD response | Washington Post

"SAN JOSE, Calif. - Responding to an antitrust lawsuit filed by a rival computer chip maker, Intel Corp. on September 1 denied its business practices broke any laws and dismissed the claims as 'factually incorrect and contradictory.' In a 63-page response to the 48-page suit filed by Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel said its rival is smaller because of the way it handles its business not from any wrongdoing by the world's largest semiconductor company."
Intel Denies Wrongdoing in AMD Response

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Judge tosses out wireless lawsuits |

"NEW YORK (AP) - The nation's five largest wireless carriers don't engage in antitrust practices by persuading customers to buy certain handsets to subscribe to their services, a judge ruled. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote tossed out a group of five lawsuits brought by wireless phone customers who claimed that since 1998 the companies had unlawfully tied the sale of handsets to the sale of wireless services." | 08/31/2005 | Judge tosses out wireless lawsuits