March 12, 2004

Linux fight had Microsoft link

Microsoft Corp. executives helped initiate a deal that gave $50 million to a company suing users of Windows rival Linux, according to the firm that
made the investment.

[...]

Microsoft's competitive moves draw close scrutiny because of its monopoly in the market for desktop computer operating systems. But various analysts
and antitrust experts said yesterday that working behind the scenes to help line up an investment for SCO would probably be more a public relations
issue for the company than a legal one.

"There is no such concept in antitrust as predatory investment," said antitrust lawyer Glenn Manishin, a partner with law firm Kelley Drye & Warren.

Without concrete proof of a predatory conspiracy -- such as Microsoft threatening to withhold something from BayStar if it didn't make the investment
-- there wouldn't be any antitrust issues in Microsoft passing along an investment suggestion, said Bob Lande, antitrust professor at the University
of Baltimore Law School.

Link: seattlepi.nwsource.com

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