tech Companies Joins EU Microsoft anti-monopoly Case
/ April 7, 2005 / IBM Corp., Oracle Corp., Red Hat Inc.,
RealNetworks Inc. and Nokia have applied to intervene
against Microsoft in its court appeal of an EU ruling made
last year, lawyer Thomas Vinje said.
The Five leading technology companies
are supporting European Union regulators in their antitrust
battle with Microsoft Corp., a lawyer for the group said
Vinje said the companies' stance
countered Microsoft claims that the European Commission's
case was without industry support.
"The commission does not stand naked,"
Vinje said. "It has solid support from the information
technology industry. The bottom line is that we think the
commission's position is correct."
The intervention against Microsoft by
these companies -- except for RealNetworks, which has sued
Microsoft separately -- is noteworthy because they have
tended to be reluctant to take such a public stand.
Red Hat is a distributor of the open
source Linux operating system, which IBM also widely
promotes. Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison is a longtime
nemesis of Microsoft, and Nokia faces a growing threat from
the company in mobile software.
Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash.,
didn't immediately return calls for comment Wednesday.
The company has asked an EU court to
invalidate the March 2004 ruling in which the commission
fined the company $640 million and obliged it to share
technology with competitors that make server software so
their products could better communicate with Windows-based
The regulators also ordered Microsoft
to produce a Windows version minus its multimedia player to
provide a more level playing field for competitors such as
Microsoft shares rose 20 cents
Wednesday to $24.67 on Nasdaq.
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