EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.20.07

More Lawsuits and Attacks by Proxy, Courtesy of Microsoft

Posted in America, Antitrust, Bill Gates, Europe, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, Kernel, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Steve Ballmer at 8:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The fierce battle between Microsoft and Google has a long history with many different dimensions or ‘episodes’ to consider at the same time. One of them has just resurfaced in the media. It would take a lot of time to process the information and rewrite one cohesive piece, so this post is composed from a series of recent news articles that are posted in a logical (and sometimes chronological) order. They hopefully tell the story accurately enough, unlike some journalists who seem to have missed the broader picture.

”Aren’t we already used to seeing lawsuits by proxy from Microsoft? This includes several lawsuits against Linux (the kernel). “Controversial action is better off taken in disguise. We have seen this many times before in the context of Silverlight and OOXML (Novell for instance). It’s a pattern. It’s a diversion strategy that involves proxies, as in “when you cannot attack directly, seek out some friends.” That appears to be the motto anyway.

Aren’t we already used to seeing lawsuits by proxy from Microsoft? This includes several lawsuits against Linux (the kernel). How about this very new one against IBM [via Andy Updegrove]? Here is some information about the party which launched the lawsuit:

Platform Solutions, founded in 2003, is funded by venture-capital firm Blueprint Ventures, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Intel Capital, InterWest Partners, InvestCorp, and Microsoft.

Yes, that’s Microsoft right there. Remember that Bill Gates perceives IBM as Microsoft’s #1 threat.

This all come at a time when Microsoft and Viacom join forces against another giant (also in Forbes Magazine, whose name is Google. Google is a fast-growing giant, but the same cannot be said about IBM. It is therefore not surprising that Steve Ballmer sees Google — not IBM — as Microsoft’s #1 threat (alongside GNU/Linux)

The new attack on Google should be seen in context. There’s history there. Here is a quick summary, which was constructed by extracting quotes from the news.

Viacom Attacks YouTube (Google)

Here is where some of this story began, after Google’s inability to police its content and users.

Legal Titans Glare At Each Other Across Google-Viacom Battlefield

The Viacom versus Google case is going to be an interesting showdown.

Then, months later, Viacom had a response that justifies some of its actions.

Viacom: ‘Daily Show’ clips just the beginning

In the meantime, there’s still the matter of that $1 billion lawsuit. Viacom earlier this year sued Google over the misappropriation of copyrighted content on YouTube.

This is despite the fact that Viacom merely fights a disruptive trend and it may be too late to the party.

Viacom out of touch with Web 2.0

Listening to the anti-Google and YouTube rhetoric spewing out of the mouth of Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman one has to wonder why he bothered to show up to the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco last week.

Microsoft Joins the Anti-Google Lobby

Watch Microsoft’s role in the lawsuits against Google. At some stages, Microsoft even encouraged publishers to sue Google.

Microsoft Befriends Google’s Foes

After a government- and monopoly-inspired period in which Microsoft had to pretend to be a gentle force for global good, the company is being forced to return to its ruthless roots. Ironically, it is doing this in part by decrying the unfair practices of a competitor and shamelessly sucking up to the Establishment.

Watch some of the hypocrisy in Microsoft’s actions.

Microsoft’s Soapbox returns with filtering technology

To that point, Soapbox was littered with pirated videos. This put Microsoft in a pickle. The software giant was agreeing to distribute content for entertainment companies whose copyright was commonly violated at its video-sharing site.

This brings us to a little more hypocrisy on Microsoft’s part.

Microsoft Shows Its Hypocrisy

Recently, Google pursued the acquisition of DoubleClick. Microsoft was fast to complain, but only later it turned out that Microsoft wanted to acquire the very same company (and got rejected by shareholders).

News Analysis: Microsoft General Counsel on DoubleClick and Antitrust

This raises a very important question – why didn’t Microsoft match Google’s $3.1 billion offer. Smith would not comment on this, but I can report from very good sources that in fact the company did offer to match it, and was willing to pay even more to insure that Google did not corner the online ad market. But for whatever reasons, the private equity firm that owned the majority of DoubleClick’s shares decided to go with Google.

[...]

I asked Smith about the irony of Microsoft asking the government to support it on antitrust. His response was interesting.

Google Gets the OK

It seemed like Microsoft’s actions (more on this later) were fruitful, but they were not. As far as the FTC was concerned, all was well at the time.

Report FTC To OK Google/DoubleClick Deal

The deal has faced fierce opposition from both Microsoft (MSFT) and some privacy advocates.

The FTC has its share problems when it comes to monopolies.

On December 20th, 2007:

FTC: We won’t block Google-DoubleClick merger

Federal Trade Commission regulators said Thursday that Google’s controversial $3.1 billion merger proposal with DoubleClick can proceed, despite earlier complaints raised by competitors and privacy advocates.

Be aware that Microsoft then started to lobby very heavily and called partners to join the attack on Google. That brings us to the next bunch of articles.

Microsoft Attacks Google

Microsoft not only invited other companies, but it also used marketing people and other groups to do its legwork and serve as seemingly-independent parties.

Microsoft trying to derail Google/DoubleClick deal by lobbying congress

Microsoft has hired lobbying firm Patton Boggs LLC to do work on “competitive issues surrounding Google/DoubleClick [sic] merger.”

Google hasn’t much luck when it comes to justice.

Microsoft Finds Legal Defender in Justice Dept.

Nearly a decade after the government began its landmark effort to break up Microsoft, the Bush administration has sharply changed course by repeatedly defending the company both in the United States and abroad against accusations of anticompetitive conduct, including the recent rejection of a complaint by Google.

[...]

In the most striking recent example of the policy shift, the top antitrust official at the Justice Department last month urged state prosecutors to reject a confidential antitrust complaint filed by Google that is tied to a consent decree that monitors Microsoft’s behavior. Google has accused Microsoft of designing its latest operating system, Vista, to discourage the use of Google’s desktop search program, lawyers involved in the case said.

The US DoJ is actually overly friendly when it comes to Microsoft. There’s a series of failures predating this.

On December 20th, 2007

European lobby rejects Google-Doubleclick merger

Google’s planned takeover of online ad giant DoubleClick for $3.1 billion will harm European citizens through greater intrusion into their privacy, the continent’s top consumer group said Thursday.

You have to wonder who is behind this. More on this in the articles below.

Google Suddenly Under Fire

EU Worries About Privacy in Google Deal

European lawmakers plan to take the unusual step of pressing antitrust regulators next month to look at privacy concerns raised by Google Inc.’s intended takeover of online ad tracker DoubleClick.

U.S. lawmakers urge Google-DoubleClick deal scrutiny

Two U.S. senators on the antitrust subcommittee urged the Federal Trade Commission’s chairman to submit Google’s purchase of advertising company DoubleClick to “serious scrutiny.”

There’s a lot more (EU extends review of Google/DoubleClick merger).

Microsoft’s Hypocrisy Returns

There are many ways (and means) to view Microsoft’s sheer hypocrisy. One of them is to consider some of the gigantic acquisitions Microsoft has successfully completed since its Google scrutiny (joint effort with AT&T)

Luckily for Google, some of this hypocrisy is actually paying off for Google.

Google: Microsoft-Viacom deal helps our DoubleClick defense

Now Google is pointing to a new, $500 million ad deal between Redmond and Viacom on Wednesday as proof positive that there’s plenty of competition in the online ad market–a not-so-thinly-veiled reminder that its planned purchase deserves the green light.

Google has more plans for the future (not that we ought to endorse such compromise of privacy).

Google looks to ad partners beyond DoubleClick deal

Tim Armstrong, Google’s president of advertising and commerce in North America, said the Web search leader’s forays into selling ads in print, radio and television had shown that marketers would be keen to use a joint system that let them better manage ad inventory.

This long and laborious post has hopefully shown how Microsoft reaches out to other parties when it needs to apply pressure on competitors. We have seen that many times before and we shall certainly see more of this in the future.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  2. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  3. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  4. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  5. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  6. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  7. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  8. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  9. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  10. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  11. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  12. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  13. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  14. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  15. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  16. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  17. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  19. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  20. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  21. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  22. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  23. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  24. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  25. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  26. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  27. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  28. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  29. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology



  30. Links 12/7/2014: CrossOver, New Wine

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts