Microsoft's U.S. Antitrust Settlement Set to Expire Soon

Lora Bentley
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The State of the Microsoft Desktop

Customers are taking a piecemeal approach to Windows 7 and Office 2010 upgrades.

U.S. antitrust regulators' ongoing relationship with Microsoft, which resulted from "landmark" litigation 10 years ago, is slated to come to an end next month. According to GeekWire, that end will come rather quietly as long as Microsoft continues to comply with its obligations under the settlement agreement.


In 2009, the judge overseeing the settlement agreed that the requirements thereof were "substantially complete." Under the terms of that settlement, Microsoft was required, among other things, to make technical documentation for its Windows application programming interface available to third-party developers. Once the documentation was complete, the company was permitted to resume collecting royalties on Microsoft Communications Protocol Program licenses.


In a final hearing this week, the U.S. did not object to the expiration of the parties' settlement agreement on May 12, InformationWeek reports. Government attorneys told the judge Microsoft has met the agreement's terms. After May 12, then, Microsoft will no longer have to document its compliance with the agreement for U.S. regulators. As writer Paul McDougall points out, the time and resources that have been dedicated to that task will now be freed up for other things.


The company does have continuing antitrust compliance obligations in the European Union.

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