DOJ Patent Policy Means FTC Should Think Again about Google Patent Order

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Patent and Trademark Office issued an important policy statement on standard essential patents. We welcome the statement as a significant step forward in ensuring the sound operation of the international standards system. Open standards can thrive only if firms can implement any standard free of the threat that other firms who contributed to the standard will later turn around and try Read more »

The FTC and Google: A Missed Opportunity

The FTC took steps today to address some of Google’s improper business practices. We find it troubling that the agency did not adhere to its own standard procedures that call for the agency to obtain industry input on proposed relief and secure it through an enforceable consent decree. The FTC’s overall resolution of this matter is weak and—frankly—unusual. We are concerned that the FTC may not have obtained adequate relief Read more »

Still Seeking Resolution to Search Competition Issues

Two years ago, Microsoft applauded the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission when they opened their antitrust investigations into Google’s business practices. We believed then, as we do now, that the future of competition in search is at stake in these investigations. This is important not just for Microsoft, but for the thousands of smaller companies whose businesses depend on a competitive search marketplace. That is why so Read more »

Google: Please Don’t Kill Video on the Web

Earlier today, Microsoft filed a formal competition law complaint with the European Commission (EC) against Motorola Mobility and Google. We have taken this step because Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, our Xbox game console and other products. Their offense? These products enable people to view videos on the Web and to connect wirelessly to the Internet using industry standards. You probably take for granted that you Read more »

Microsoft’s Support for Industry Standards

Earlier today, Microsoft posted a statement concerning our commitment to industry standards. The statement sets forth Microsoft’s long-standing approach to patents that are essential to industry standards: we license them to other firms. We don’t seek to block other firms from shipping products on the basis of these patents. Our approach is shared by Apple, Cisco and many others in the industry. Why are “standards essential patents” so important to Read more »

Google-Yahoo Redux: Why deal in Japan is worse than attempted 2008 deal

By Dave HeinerVice President and Deputy General Counsel In November 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice determined that a plan by Google to provide advertising next to just a portion of the search results on Yahoo’s competing search engine was illegal under the antitrust laws. Google wasn’t especially interested in the additional viewership for its ads—it already had massive ad volume—but rather in scuttling Microsoft’s efforts to combine with Yahoo Read more »

Competition Authorities and Search

Government competition agencies are increasingly focused on Google’s growing power in search and online advertising. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission have all determined that Google is dominant in certain markets, including search advertising. In late 2008 the DOJ was prepared to go to court to block Google’s attempt to partner with its largest search rival, Yahoo!.  Last year the DOJ told Read more »

The Browser Choice Screen for Europe: What to Expect, When to Expect It

(If you would like more information about the browser choice screen on your computer, or if you have a technical issue with the update, the Windows team has prepared a page you may find useful entitled, What is the Browser Choice update? ) Over the next few weeks, Microsoft will begin offering a “Web browser choice screen” to Internet Explorer users in Europe, as required by the European Commission. Internal testing of Read more »

Interoperability: The Other Side of Our Settlement with the European Commission

On Wednesday the European Commission announced its decision to approve a resolution of its long-running competition law inquiry concerning Microsoft.  Commissioner Kroes remarked that the decision has the potential to herald a “new, more positive” era in Microsoft’s relationship with the Commission.  We are obviously very pleased to reach this milestone.  We’ve posted the details here. While most of the press attention has focused on the Commission’s decision regarding Web browser software in Read more »

Windows 7 and Browser Choice in Europe

Posted by Dave Heiner Vice President and Deputy General Counsel    A week ago the European Commission said it welcomed our proposal to provide Windows users a “consumer ballot screen” to select the Web browser of their choice to surf the Internet. We believe this approach addresses the Commission’s previously stated competition law concerns regarding our inclusion of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) browser in Windows.  I’d like to use this post to explain in Read more »