MS Asks for Help in EU Antitrust Case

Press reports indicate that Microsoft recently asked the U.S. government and other tech companies for assistance in its antitrust case with the European Union.

The request centers on the divulging of certain trade secrets, which has been a sticking point in the settlement negotiations between the EU and Microsoft. The company argues that the EU's decision could have a detrimental effect on other U.S. companies regarding how trade secrets are handled.


Microsoft gave companies a list of suggested talking points, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Financial Times.

One of the suggested arguments says companies should tell U.S. officials: "the European Commission's trade secrets decision will establish a precedent that could adversely impact the value of trade secrets which are substantial business assets for many US companies, including mine."

The EU Commission had previously demanded that Microsoft open up its Windows networking protocols to third parties, including open source companies. Redmond officials balked at the request, and appealed the ruling in September.

"Microsoft has filed an application for annulment with the Court of First Instance specifically concerning the issue of broad licenses in source code form of communications protocols which are based upon Microsoft's intellectual property," a Microsoft spokesperson said at the time.

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