In Hollywood, when you are caught with your pants down, and you happen to be married, well that results in acrimony, and a big fat alimony check followed by deafening silence, especially when you are supposedly a macho star who happens to be light in the foot. In Silly-Con valley, when you are caught flexing your monoplistic muscles, you settle, with a big fat check, and a silence and some software. Microsoft has been settling with so many rivals, giving away so much cash, that I wonder if we should call them SettleSoft. Time Warner, Sun Microsystems, Gateway, and today IBM. That’s almost $3 billion in
alimony payments. These settlements despite the silence they buy, do make me raise my eyebrows – how many times have the played loose with the rules? After all why would you settle, you didn’t do anything wrong.
“They are not in any way agreeing to fundamentally change how they do business,” the expert, Andrew I. Gavil, a law professor at Howard University, said of Microsoft in an interview with The New York Times. “The only case where anyone is really holding out is the RealNetworks case. To them, if they can’t get a change in that business model” – a reference to Microsoft’s practices – “the cash doesn’t do them much good.”