This is a discussion on Microsoft Lacks Innovation, Fairness in Pricing of Protocols, ECSays - Linux ; http://www.itjungle.com/two/two030707-story01.html Published: March 7, 2007 [selective quotes] The EC says its technical experts found "no significant innovation" in Microsoft's communication protocols and the written documentation that accompany them. This led the group to conclude that Microsoft's protocol pricing scheme is ...
Published: March 7, 2007
The EC says its technical experts found "no significant
innovation" in Microsoft's communication protocols and the
written documentation that accompany them. This led the group to
conclude that Microsoft's protocol pricing scheme is
"unreasonable." Microsoft, for its part, claims there is
"considerable innovation" in its protocols, which, in turn, makes
its pricing fair (or even a bargain).
For both schemes, Microsoft offers Gold, Silver, and Bronze
packages, which are priced according to the claimed "degree of
innovation" in the protocols and documentation. (The two sides
also agree there is a fourth category of protocols that can be
had with no royalty payment because they lack innovation.) In
addition to the packages, customers can purchase individual
protocols for prices ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.
On the advice of its technical experts, the EC found there is
"virtually no innovation" in Microsoft's No Patent Agreement.
Interestingly, the higher level Gold and Silver packages had zero
innovation, whereas the Bronze package--which one would think
would have the least amount of innovation--actually sports "a
limited degree of innovation."
The Court of First Instance essentially upholds the Commissionís
decision finding that Microsoft abused its dominant position
Reference: CJE/07/63 Date: 17/09/2007
--As regards the refusal to supply the interoperability
information, the Court recalls that, according to the case-law,
although undertakings are, as a rule, free to choose their
business partners, in certain circumstances a refusal to supply
on the part of a dominant undertaking may constitute an abuse of
a dominant position. Before a refusal by the holder of an
intellectual property right to license a third party to use a
product can be characterised as an abuse of a dominant position,
three conditions must be satisfied: the refusal must relate to a
product or service indispensable to the exercise of an activity
on a neighbouring market; the refusal must be of such a kind as
to exclude any effective competition on that market; and the
refusal must prevent the appearance of a new product for which
there is potential consumer demand. Provided that such
circumstances are satisfied, the refusal to grant a licence may
constitute an abuse of a dominant position unless it is