Microsoft Hopes Transparency To Make A Difference

    February 24, 2006

With the EU refusing to be reasonable and the vultures circling the wagons, Microsoft has decided to try a weapon not normally found in their repetoire: transparency.

Microsoft announced it would post on the web Thursday night the confidential documents it is using in its defense against 90’s-era antitrust litigation, including exchanges between Steve Ballmer and EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

The documents are available here and consist of ten PDF files totalling 199 pages. The Ballmer/Kroes portion is in this file, and contains this wonderful statement by MS chief executive Steve Ballmer, which I’ve transcribed:

As you know, today marked an important deadline for providing a number of additional submissions to the Commission. As I noted when we talked on the phone last month, I was determined that we would focus hard on the additional “homework” assignments given to us.

From Bink:

“Transparency is vitally important in what can be a very opaque process in Brussels. We’ve decided to open this up so people can understand the issues,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s European associate general counsel.

Microsoft is opening defense documents it sent in response to a statement of objections from the Commission, minus business secrets, but has no plans to post the Commission’s objections.

The Commission considers those objections confidential and had little to say.

Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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