Saturday, February 07, 2004

Microsoft gets to regulate itself

Title: Microsoft lawyer to chair U.S. antitrust committee
Source: AP
Date: February 6, 2004

From the article:
    Microsoft associate general counsel Richard J. Wallis takes over later this year as chairman of the American Bar Association's antitrust section, an unusual role for a corporate lawyer.

    The panel has already begun organizing opposition to a congressional plan that would require more aggressive oversight by the courts of such antitrust settlements.

    The debate over how aggressively U.S. federal judges should scrutinize these settlements is pivotal in the next major ruling in Microsoft's long-running antitrust case. That decision could come as early as Friday.

    Microsoft's effort in the legal community illustrates how the world's largest software company is moving to protect its interests in venues where it has found itself challenged. It also has increasingly participated in the political process in Washington and in technology standards organizations.
Obviously Microsoft's general counsel would have an interest in leniency for Microsoft. Microsoft has been found by the government to be in a monopoly position. Making Microsoft's general counsel the chairman of the antitrust committee gives him great leverage to favor Microsoft's needs over the needs of the citizens.


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