updated 06:00 pm EDT, Thu October 20, 2005
MS backs off music deals
Microsoft has backed off its it had required of MP3 player manufacturers. Already under government scrutiny over its behavior toward competitors, Microsoft had told manufacturers of iPod-like portable audio devices that they were not allowed to distribute rivals' music player software, but then pulled back after one company protested, according to Associated press. "The Justice Department said the incident was 'unfortunate,' but that government lawyers decided to drop the issue because Microsoft agreed 10 days later to change the contracts. The government disclosed details of the dispute in a federal court document made available Thursday. The disputed contracts would have affected portable music players that compete with Apple Computer Inc.'s wildly popular iPod. Legal and industry experts said Microsoft's demands probably would have violated the landmark 2002 antitrust settlement between the company and the Bush administration."