Antitrust NewsWatch: December 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hearsay.com is on the move

Hearsay.com is currently migrating from Blogger to a new publishing platform. During this transition, we will publish less frequently and may be temporarily off-line from December 15 through December 19. We'll keep you posted on changes to this schedule via the main site. While the look and feel of Hearsay.com will be more basic initially, the platform we've selected - WordPress - allows much more flexibility, especially with regard to tagging stories by topic; or to be more accurate - virtually unlimited flexibility, vs. no capability whatsoever. The new release is currently publishing to over 250 news categories, and as coverage expands, the number of topical areas will grow as well. Some historical content will be converted into the new application, but the initial release will focus exclusively on current news. Expect the site to undergo a series of enhancements in 2006, as its initial versions did in late 2004 and throughout 2005. As always, we value your perspective. Please provide comments and feedback via the contact link at Hearsay.com. Your patience during this transition is most appreciated!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Microsoft may share ad revenue with consumers: Perception of product 'tying' could draw regulator attention | Hearsay.com

The Wall Street Journal reported on December 12 that Microsoft may share ad revenue with consumers in the form of cash or product discounts for other Microsoft products and services. The move is a clear shot at Google, the Web's advertising leader. Bill Gates is quoted in the transcript of a speech before marketing partners in India saying 'We'll actually go to users and say instead of us keeping all that ad revenue, we'll actually share some of it back with the user. The user essentially will get paid, either money or free content or software things that they wouldn't get if they didn't use that search engine.' Microsoft needs to be particularly careful to avoid the perception of linking payments to consumers for the use of one service or product to the purchase of another, since it has global antitrust implications at a time when Microsoft needs to maintain a low profile on related issues. Related Google News

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Microsoft fined $31.9 M for South Korean antitrust violation; contemplates market exit | Hearsay.com

After an unfavorable ruling by South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on December 7, Microsoft is now appealing the verdict and contemplating whether it should follow through on a November threat to exit the South Korean operating system market. Microsoft Korea and the FTC have said that possibility is unlikely. The ruling orders Microsoft to (1) offer two versions of Windows - one with Windows Media Player and Instant Messenger software removed and the other including links to downloads of competitor offerings; (2) send CDs to customers that allows them to replace Media Player and Instant Messenger; (3) unbundle Windows Media Service from the Windows Server operating system; and (4) pay a fine of 33 Billion won ($32 million).
Related Yahoo News

Monday, December 05, 2005

Nielsen antitrust lawsuit labeled a 'battle to save the TV industry' | bizjournals.com

Florida US District Judge Susan Bucklew has ruled that erinMedia LLC can move on to discovery in its antitrust lawsuit against Nielsen Media Research Inc. erinMedia claims that Nielsen is using anticompetitive practices to impede or prevent competition and innovation, and that it has forced major networks into long-term, staggered contracts that make it impossible for companies offer competing services.
Cable, TV & Radio - bizjournals.com

Friday, December 02, 2005

French mobile phone operators fined record $628 million | E-Commerce News

French antitrust authorities slapped record fines on the country's three cell-phone operators on December 1 after a four-year investigation found that Orange, SFR and Bouygues illegally shared sales data and conspired to undermine competition. The three networks were ordered to pay a combined 534 million euros (US$628 million), the largest fine ever imposed by France's Competition Council.
E-Commerce News: Global : French Cell-Phone Operators Fined $628 Million

Thursday, December 01, 2005

S. Korea plans to rule on Microsoft antitrust case next week | MercuryNews.com

"SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea's antitrust watchdog said on Novebember 30 that it will likely rule next week on allegations that Microsoft Corp. violated trade rules by bundling its software products with Windows. The Fair Trade Commission began looking into the case because Daum Communications Corp., a South Korean Internet portal, filed a complaint in 2001 alleging that Microsoft engaged in unfair marketing by tying its instant messenger software to Windows."
MercuryNews.com | 11/30/2005 | S. Korea plans to rule on Microsoft antitrust case next week

Microsoft tells judge it is complying with antitrust consent decree | CNET News.com

WASHINGTON - Under fire for a marketing plan that may have improperly favored Windows Media Player, Microsoft on November 30 told a federal judge that it is taking steps to avoid anticompetitive behavior by its employees.
Microsoft tells judge it's antitrust-compliant | CNET News.com