Microsoft’s antitrust review to end…eventually

The government is taking their time to ensure that Microsoft is conducting business in a “fair” way. The U.S. Department of Justice has asked, and received, an 18 month extension in their antitrust oversight procedures concerning Microsoft. The process was supposed to end soon, but with the extension the end is now set for May 12, 2011, barring any other extensions.

DOJ and state plaintiffs had asked for the 18-month extension to ensure the quality of the technical documentation Microsoft is providing to licensees.

The technical documents are designed to assist outside software developers so their programs will work properly on Windows operating systems.

To review, the DOJ is looking at the information Microsoft sends to companies looking to design software for Windows. They’re checking to make sure the information is sufficient enough to give other companies what they need to be able to compete against Microsoft.

Microsoft agreed to settle the antitrust complaints from federal and state regulators in 2002. The agreement, which placed a variety of constraints on Microsoft’s operating systems business, settled government charges that Microsoft illegally used its monopoly position to squelch competition.


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