Bush Names Microsoftie EU Representative

    August 10, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

A lawyer who worked on Microsoft’s behalf during the US v. Microsoft antitrust trial will now be the American representative to the European Union.

The EU has been battling with Microsoft over its own antitrust findings against the software giant. They likely won’t be happy with the appointment of C. Boyden Gray as the US EU representative, according to ZDNet UK.

Mr. Gray had written an amicus brief back in 2000, calling for a reversal of now-infamous Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson’s ruling calling for the breakup of Microsoft.

According to that document, this was the only amicus brief approved by Microsoft to be filed in its support during the appeal process. Mr. Gray performed other work on Microsoft’s behalf, contacting state attorney generals and holding a conference call denouncing the US antitrust decision.

Mr. Gray’s appointment, pending Senate approval, will look bad in Europe, where it will likely be seen as placement of a pro-Microsoft lobbyist in a high-profile position. Already, the Free Software Foundation of Europe has criticized Mr. Gray’s selection.

But the whole point of having a US representative is to advocate US interests. Whether or not those interests coincide with Microsoft’s business goals shouldn’t matter to the EU. The EU has already shown it can take a stand against what it views as anti-competitive practices. It doesn’t seem likely the EU will suddenly become a malleable body subject to the whims of a single ambassador.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.