Microsoft Nears DoJ OK to Collect Protocol Fees
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As part of its antitrust settlement with U.S. states and the federal government, Microsoft promised to provide adequate documentation on key communications protocols to its competitors. Now, however, the software giant may be close to fulfilling its obligations, which could mean it could resume charging licensing fees to other companies using the protocols. CodeGuru has the story.
Microsoft may be close to getting U.S. approval to begin charging once again for access to its communications protocols, after having made progress in giving competitors documentation on them as required by its antitrust settlement with the government.
However, don't expect a big jump in Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) bottom line, nor it to begin charging top-dollar fees. As with similar arrangements in the European Union, the royalties are "nominal," according to a source familiar with the case.
As required by its U.S. antitrust settlement, Microsoft has been working to provide accurate and adequate documentation for various protocols and programming interfaces for several years.
Microsoft has not always been speedy about providing those deliverables, however, which is partly what prompted U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in April to extend oversight of the company's business practices until May 2011.