Antitrust NewsWatch: November 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Rambus prospects up on Samsung disclosure of $300 million Justice Department settlement | AP via MSN Money

In October, the Department of Justice announced Samsung agreed to pay a $300 million fine in the antitrust case, but details of the plea remained under wraps. Court documents made public in recent days show Samsung has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to artificially fix prices of DRAM between April 1, 1999 to June 15, 2002. The plea agreement is likely to boost the prospects of Rambus in its patent infringement and price fixing litigation with Samsung.
MSN Money - AP Business News: Rambus Shares Jump on Samsung Disclosure

Justices hear key antitrust case on 'tying' patented products |

The Supreme Court on November 29 seemed ready to hand a victory to patent holders in a closely watched antitrust case that could have a broad impact on intellectual property law. Though justices seemed divided at oral argument in the case Illinois Tool Works v. Independent Ink, they seemed untroubled by the prospect of tossing aside a 58-year-old precedent that puts patent holders at a disadvantage when competitors sue them for antitrust violations." - Justices Hear Key Antitrust Case on 'Tying' Patented Products

VeriSign and ICANN sued over alleged anti-competitive contract terms |

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A trade group known as the World Association of Domain Name Developers (WADND) sued VeriSign and ICANN (Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers) on November 28 in the San Jose federal court. WADND alleges VeriSign's proposed registry contract, which would remain in-force through 2012 for '.com' registrations, is anti-competitive. The lawsuit also claims the deal creates a virtual monopoly for VeriSign's '.com' and '.net' registries, allowing it to set fees above market price, and creates an opportunity to extend this monopoly into new markets.
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Monday, November 21, 2005

Microsoft expands antitrust training, reviews after music deal flap |

"WASHINGTON - Microsoft Corp. has pledged to expand legal training for employees and broaden its internal reviews of industry agreements to be sure the company doesn't violate its antitrust settlement with the government. Microsoft's decision, disclosed in court papers, responds to criticism last month from the federal judge overseeing Microsoft's business practices under the agreement. She was upset over a proposal by Microsoft - unlawful under the settlement - to force manufacturers to tether iPod-like devices to Microsoft's own music player software."
Microsoft expands antitrust training, reviews after music deal flap

Friday, November 18, 2005

South Dakota Supreme Court orders recalculation of Microsoft case legal fees |

"PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Legal fees for attorneys who handled antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft Corp. must be recalculated because the fees awarded by a circuit judge were too high, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled on November 17. Circuit Judge Lori Wilbur of Pierre awarded lawyers $2.3 million in legal fees and expenses, but the Supreme Court said the fees must be recalculated using guidelines that will result in lower payments to many of the attorneys."
AP Wire | 11/17/2005 | Supreme Court orders recalculation of Microsoft case legal fees

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

EU opens in-depth probe Into T-Mobile buy of Tele.Ring |

"BRUSSELS -(Dow Jones)- The European Commission on November 14 launched an in-depth investigation into T-Mobile Austria's plan to buy rival Tele.Ring Service GmbH. The deal 'may create significant competition problems by removing Tele.Ring as a competitor for (consumers),' the commission found in its initial investigation. 'This takeover is in a strategically important sector in the European economy,' E.U. antitrust chief Neelie Kroes said in a statement."
EU Opens In-depth Probe Into T-Mobile Buy Of Tele.Ring

Monday, November 14, 2005

Microsoft seeks US backing in EU antitrust battle | MSN Money

WASHINGTON, DC (Financial Times) - Microsoft has launched a covert lobbying campaign to persuade the US administration officials and businesses to intervene in its long-running antitrust battle with the European Union. Microsoft officials have met White House and Department of Justice staff and asked them to back the legal challenge launched by the group against last year's landmark antitrust ruling by the European Commission, the EU's executive body.
MSN Money - Financial Times Business News: Microsoft seeks US backing in EU antitrust battle

Friday, November 11, 2005

Microsoft, South Korea's Daum reach anti-trust settlement | CNET

"SEOUL-Microsoft has reached a $30 million settlement with South Korea's Daum over an antitrust suit, but regulators said they will continue to review their case against the world's largest software maker. Shares in Daum Communications, the country's top Web portal operator, jumped nearly 9 percent on November 11 after the two firms announced the agreement, which includes a $10 million cash payment by Microsoft to Daum, $10 million in advertising deals and unspecified business terms worth a further $10 million."
Microsoft, Daum reach settlement | CNET

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Swedish start-up alleges predatory pricing by Microsoft | (subscription required)

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Swedish technology start-up Wellton Way AB has complained to European antitrust regulators about Microsoft predatory pricing practices for its Windows N/T Media Center software. - Swedish Start-Up Alleges Predatory Pricing by Microsoft

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

FCC approves Verizon acquisition of MCI and SBC acquisition of AT&T |

WASHINGTON - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved, with minor conditions, SBC Communications' $16 billion purchase of AT&T Corp., and Verizon Communications' $8.44 billion takeover of MCI Inc. The conditions are intended to prevent the merged companies from raising rates or denying customers Internet access. The FCC voted 4-0 to sign off on the deals, with Chairman Kevin Martin saying the combined entities will 'create strong global carriers that will vigorously compete both internationally and domestically.' The deals are expected to be completed by year's end.
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