“The federal judge overseeing Microsoft Corp.’s business practices scolded the company Wednesday over a proposal to force manufacturers to tether iPod-like devices to Microsoft’s own music player software,” The Associated Press reports. “Microsoft abandoned the idea after a competitor protested.”
“In a rare display of indignation, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly demanded an explanation from Microsoft’s lawyers and told them, ‘This should not be happening.’ Legal and industry experts said Microsoft’s demands probably would have violated a landmark antitrust settlement the same judge approved in 2002 between the company and the Bush administration. The government and Microsoft disclosed details of the dispute in a court document last week,” AP reports.
“The judge said Microsoft’s music-player proposal – even though it was abandoned 10 days later – ‘maybe indicates a chink in the compliance process.’ She made her remarks during a previously scheduled court hearing to review the adequacy of the settlement,” AP reports. “The disputed plan, part of a marketing campaign known as ‘easy start,’ would have affected portable music devices that compete with Apple Computer Inc.’s popular iPod. It would have precluded makers of those devices from distributing to consumers music software other than Microsoft’s own Windows Media Player, in exchange for Microsoft-supplied CDs.”
Full article here.
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After protest, Microsoft backs off on exclusive music contracts – October 20, 2005