Eek, Pulling Back the MS Curtain, We See ... $9.5M to CCIA's Ed Black

Tuesday, November 23 2004 @ 09:27 PM EST

Contributed by: PJ

FT.com has an extraordinary report about the recent settlement between Microsoft and the CCIA:

"The landmark antitrust settlement this month between Microsoft and the Computer and Communications Industry Association, one of its oldest adversaries, resulted in a $9.75m payment to the CCIA's top official, according to confidential documents seen by the FT.

"Ed Black, CCIA president and for years one of Microsoft's fiercest opponents in antitrust investigations, netted almost half the $19.75m total payment Microsoft paid the association. His payment was approved by the CCIA board, which includes Sun Microsystems, Yahoo and Oracle.

"Mr Black and Microsoft yesterday refused to comment on the details."

I'll say. They may get to say a few words tomorrow. The EU judge hearing Microsoft's legal case has called a meeting of the parties.

You'll remember Microsoft's press release announcing the deal:

"We also announced today an agreement with CCIA.  Under the terms of that agreement, CCIA similarly is withdrawing from all further participation in the European Union litigation, both the interim measures case and the merits case.  In addition, CCIA is withdrawing a complaint that it has pending before the European Commission regarding Windows XP.  That complaint, as many of you may know, was a principal obstacle to our ability to negotiate a settlement with the European Commission this past March.  We were able to reach agreement with the Commission on all of the issues in the present case that is now before the Court of First Instance, but we were not able to reach agreement on the issues in the CCIA complaint.  The CCIA complaint has now been withdrawn.  CCIA also agreed not to seek review by the Supreme Court of the U.S. lawsuit.

"We're also delighted to have the opportunity to join CCIA as a member and to work with CCIA on a wide variety of issues that we believe are important to the future of our industry.

In a Background Q & A at the time of the announcement that CCIA was dropping its complaint, Microsoft posted this question and answer:

Q: After fighting Microsoft so hard and for so long, how can CCIA reverse itself like this?

A: Neither CCIA nor Microsoft is retracting or changing positions taken in the past. The decisions made are practical ones based on the status and prospects of the various proceedings and the opportunity to promote common industry objectives in the future.

Maybe they'll need to rewrite it now to say the decisions were a breeze, and were made based on the status of one of the parties and the prospects of the other.

Might this be why Nokia quit the CCIA right after the settlement was announced, saying matters were not handled "in the proper way"?

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