EU unlikely to follow US ruling on Microsoft

Microsoft Corp., which expressed pleasure with District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's antitrust ruling in the U.S. on Friday, is likely to be disappointed in its hopes that the U.S. ruling will set the tone for a similar ruling from European antitrust regulators, according to the software giant's critics.

On Sunday, Microsoft's associate general counsel for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Horacio E. Gutiérrez said he hoped the European Commission uses the U.S. decision as "a reference point" as it works to resolve the case it began against the Redmond, Washington, company at the end of 1998.

Gutiérrez said he expects the Commission, the European Union executive body charged with policing competition in the 15-country block, to analyze the U.S. ruling closely, but he added that the situation is very different in Europe. "The law is different, the decision makers are different," he said.

Last Friday's decision "won't change the dialog" between the software giant and the EU regulator. "Now we look forward to continuing that dialog," Gutiérrez said.

Critics of Microsoft said that the European case is "fundamentally different" from the case Judge Kollar-Kotelly ruled on last Friday.

News source: ITWorld - EU unlikely to follow US ruling on Microsoft

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