Israel basedd software company MiniFrame Ltd. sued Microsoft in New York, claiming that Microsoft used its monopoly in the operating systems market to pressure potential clients not to buy MiniFrame’s PC-sharing software. MiniFrame’s PC-sharing software allows multiple users to access the same computer operating system from multiple locations, using only a monitor, keyboard and mouse, which the company said did not violate the terms of Microsoft’s original use licensing agreements. Those licenses only barred multiple computers from accessing the same Windows system, according to MiniFrame. But in 2007, recognizing the competitive threat that such software introduced, Microsoft added new terms to its licensing deals that restricted the use of its operating systems to a single user, MiniFrame’s complaint alleges. There was no technological reason behind this change, according to MiniFrame. “Microsoft’s ability to maintain its monopoly in the server operating system market against the competing PC-sharing software (e.g., MiniFrame’s SoftXpand product) is ...

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Microsoft shareholder Kim Barovic has sued Microsoft board in federal court in Seattle on Friday. He accused Microsoft board for mishandling the error in EU antitrust compliance related to Internet Explorer. Even though Microsoft accounted that non-compliance is due to technical error, Kim needs more explanation on this. In March last year, the European Union levied its largest ever antitrust fine against Microsoft for breaking a legally binding commitment made in 2009 to ensure that consumers in Europe had a choice of how they access the internet, rather than defaulting to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Its investigation found that updated software issued between May 2011 and July 2012 meant that 15 million users were not given a choice. It was the first time the European Commission, the EU’s antitrust authority, handed down a fine to a company for failing to meet its obligations. In her lawsuit, Barovic says she asked ...

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According to Bloomberg the FTC may not bring Google to trial for the most serious allegations of abuse of their dominant search position. The issue is apparently that the FTC is unsure that they have enough evidence to successfully prosecute Google for giving its own services top billing and pushing down the offerings of rivals. The FTC is also apparently  looking at whether the ranking system’s benefits to consumers outweigh any harm suffered by rivals including NexTag Inc. and Kayak Software Corp, an argument Eric Schmidt put forward to defend surfacing information without directing browsers to the source of the information. The FTC may still extract concessions from Google to resolve their concerns, but it seems main thrust of the investigation, which was threatened to break up Google, has been lost. The European Union has however not shown any indication to be flagging in their pursuit of Google. A final ...

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The US Consumer Watchdog has filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission demanding Google be largely dismantled, to prevent the company from abusing its monopoly position. Noting ”Google hardly blinked when it paid half a billion dollars to the United States to settle an illegal drug sales case” and that “the proposed $22.5 million fine for violating the “Buzz” Consent Decree is but pocket change for the Internet giant” the WatchDog proposes the $40 billion per year company needed a much tougher remedy to reign it in. The Consumer Watchdog proposed the following treatment: Google should be required to divest Motorola Mobility, whose standards essential patents it is using unfairly by not making them available for license on a fair basis. Google should be broken into different companies devoted to different lines of business so there is no incentive to unfairly use search to promote other services. Search ...

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The New York Times reports that the Federal Trade Commission is preparing a recommendation that the government sue Google for abusing its position as the dominant search engine. The accusation is that Google manipulates search results to favour its own products, and makes it harder for competitors and their products to appear prominently on a results page. The commission is also building a team to take Google to court, if it comes to that. The European competition authorities are also pressing ahead and seeking changes in Google’s behaviour. Joaquín Almunia, the European Union’s competition commissioner expressed concerns that Google is “using its dominance in online search to foreclose rival specialized search engines and search advertisers.” Google is also being investigated by the attorneys general of six states: Texas, Ohio, New York, California, Oklahoma and Mississippi. Accusations include that of manipulating the search results to favour Google commerce services such as ...

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Spanish anti-competition commission announced today that it has opened an anti-trust probe on Microsoft that the company allegedly blocked the sale by third parties of personal computer software licenses. The commission also added that the investigation and ruling must be completed within 18 months. Antitrust complaints are nothing new to Microsoft as it have faced number of cases in the past. Hope Microsoft clears this case. Source: Marketwatch ...

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