|DeWine and Kohl Introduce Bill to Revise
10/29. Sen. Mike DeWine
(R-OH) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
introduced S 1797,
the "Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act of
2003". The bill would amend the Tunney Act to provide that the courts are to
independently determine that civil antitrust settlements negotiated by the
Department of Justice (DOJ) are in the public
interest. It would also increase penalties for some criminal antitrust violations.
It would also enhance the DOJ's existing leniency program.
Sen. DeWine is the Chairman of the
Senate Judiciary Committee's
Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. Sen. Kohl is
the ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee. The two typically work together on
Sen. Kohl spoke in the Senate about the bill. He stated that
"The Tunney Act was passed in 1974 in response to concerns that some Justice
Department settlements were motivated by inappropriate political pressure and
were simply inadequate to restore competition or protect consumers. Congress
concluded that review by the district courts to be an essential safeguard to
deter the Justice Department from settling cases without regard for the public
interest or the interest of affected consumers. The Tunney Act was enacted to
end the then-prevalent practice of district judges ``rubber stamping´´ antitrust
consent decrees." See, Congressional Record, October 29, 2003, at S13519.
The Tunney Act is Section 5 of the Clayton Act, as amended, and
is codified at 15 U.S.C.
§ 16. The bill would amend the Tunney Act to require that "The Court shall
not enter any consent judgment proposed by the United States under this section
unless it finds that there is reasonable belief, based on substantial evidence
and reasoned analysis, to support the United States' conclusion that the consent
judgment is in the public interest."
Sen. Kohl did not discuss the government antitrust case against Microsoft. However,
he stated that "Unfortunately, in recent years, many courts -- including
specifically the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit --
have misconstrued the plain meaning of the Tunney Act and have returned to the
practice of ``rubber stamp´´ review of antitrust settlements. The controlling
precedent in the D.C. Circuit is now that trial courts must enter antitrust
consent decrees as long as they do not make a ``mockery of the judicial power.´´
This standard is contrary to the intent of the Tunney Act and effectively strips
the courts of the ability to engage in meaningful review of antitrust
He elaborated that "Our bill will restore the original intent of the Tunney
Act by First, providing that courts are to independently determine that
antitrust settlements are in the public interest, second, setting forth a
specific list of factors that a court must examine in the course of its public
interest review -- rather than may consider as the statute is currently written,
and third, requiring the government establish that substantial evidence and
reasoned analysis supports the government's belief that the consent judgment is
in the public interest."
Sen. Kohl stated that the bill will also "increase the maximum corporate
penalty from $10 to $100 million, will increase the maximum individual fine from
$350,000 to $1 million, and increase the maximum jail term for individuals who
are convicted of criminal antitrust violations from three to ten years. These
changes will send the proper message that criminal antitrust violations --
crimes such as price fixing and bid rigging -- committed by business executives
in a boardroom are serious offense that steal from American consumers just as
effectively as does a street criminal with a gun."
Finally, he addressed the leniency program provisions of the bill. He said
that "The leniency program rewards the first member of a criminal antitrust
conspiracy to admit its crime to the Justice Department by granting the
wrongdoer criminal amnesty. This is an important tool for law enforcement
officials to detect and break up cartels that fix prices and limit supply in our
economy. This new provision will give the Justice Department the ability to
offer those applying for leniency the additional reward of only facing actual
damages in civil suits arising out of the antitrust conspiracy, rather than the
treble damage liability to which they would otherwise be subject."
The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
|Commerce Secretary Evans Discusses Talks
10/30. Secretary of Commerce
Donald Evans discussed
his talks with representatives of the government of the People's Republic of
China. He spoke and answered question at events in Beijing and Tokyo on October 29
and 30. He stated that he
talked about, among other issues, the Doha round, protection of IPR in China,
and U.S. restrictions on high-tech exports to China.
On October 29, Evans held a press conference in Beijing, China. See,
transcript. He stated that "One of the specific issues we focused on
while we were here was the
protection of intellectual property rights. There is too much piracy of
intellectual property, too much counterfeiting, too much stealing. Over 90
percent of the intellectual property -- that is DVDs and CVDs and software -- that
is sold is counterfeit. Some of it is being exported outside the country."
October 30, Evans (at right) gave a
speech and answered questions at an American Chamber of Commerce in Japan
luncheon in Tokyo, Japan. He said that "We need to continue to work very hard on
the Doha Round and WTO. Those are
the kinds of places you can go to create standards, rules, laws, regulations so
we're all on the same playing field. Another example that I used a lot when I
was in China was the enforcement of the agreements that we signed. Intellectual
Property Right protection, that's a huge, huge deal. About 90 percent of the
CDs, DVDs, software sold in China are pirated, or they're stolen or they're
counterfeit. That means wherever that intellectual property, that knowledge,
that value is coming from, is being disadvantaged or on an unlevel playing
field. So it's a matter of not only signing agreements where we all know what
the rules are going to be, but it's also enforcing the rules -- effective
enforcement of the rules."
He also addressed U.S. export controls on the 29th. He said that "China is
the only country in the world, the only country in the world where we have
difficulty in having access to the companies that are buying this
high-technology equipment, what we would call end-use visits. As soon as we can
get an end-use visit agreement in place so that we can tell the Congress of the
United States and the American people that we are being provided access to visit
the plants and the facilities and the businesses that are buying this high-tech
equipment, I feel confident that it will improve the environment, improve the
conditions for increasing high-technology trade between our two countries."
He also commented on the consequences of information technologies. He stated
that "In the 21st century, because of technology, our borders are going to be
connected by computer terminals all around the world. Borders are becoming more
eroded all around the world, and that kind of way, the free flow of information
and knowledge, is one of the reasons that we're seeing this incredible increase
in productivity. Information is readily available, and doesn't cost you a lot to
get it. I'm optimistic that we'll continue to see this power drive a more
competitive, more productive global economy that will eventually get us to where
we're all trying to be."
He also addressed other issues. He said that "it's essential that trade be
fair, and we're all playing by basically the same rules."
"What I did talk about was that you have to enforce intellectual property
rights, because 90 percent of what's being sold is stolen. It's pirated. That's
not fair to American workers", said Evans. "I did talk about the fact that China has been
relatively slow in establishing the regulations for allowing distribution
systems to be set up in China, and trading licenses to be established in China,
so that American companies can find ways to move their products into the China
economy. I did talk about ways that this economy needs to continue to move
towards free-market principles. Government needs to be less involved in trying
to micromanage the economy, and you need to put the fiscal policies in place,
the monetary policies in place, the regulatory policies in place that allow the
private sector, the workers of the country to do what they do so well, which is
to create the wealth and create the prosperity."
He added that there is a "VAT rebate tax that discriminates against foreign
competition. We talked about standards that are being established that
discriminate against foreign competition." He also said that "we didn't come
over to talk about any differential in labor costs."
|House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Internet
10/30. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection
held a hearing titled "E-Commerce: The Case of Online Wine Sales and
Direct Shipment". Rep. Clifford
Stearns (R-FL) presided. The Subcommittee
received testimony from the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC), which has studied various state laws that impede e-commerce, the
Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America
(WSWA), which opposes Internet sales of wine and other alcohol, and
WineAmerica, which represents small
wineries and opposes state prohibitions of Internet wine sales.
The FTC issued a
report [139 pages in
PDF] titled "Possible Anticompetitive Barriers to E-Commerce: Wine" on July 3,
2003. See, story titled "FTC Report Concludes That Allowing Direct Sales of
Wines Would Enhance Consumer Welfare" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 692, July 7, 2003. This report concluded that consumer welfare
would be enhanced by allowing direct shipment of wines.
Todd Zywicki, Director of the FTC's Office of Policy Planning, wrote in his
prepared testimony for this hearing that "Wine is a good example of how the
Internet can permit fundamentally different business models to flourish. Through
the Internet, many smaller vineyards, with limited distribution networks, can
now market their wines to consumers around the country."
But, he continued, "many states limit or prohibit direct wine sales over the
Internet. Under the common ``three tier´´ distribution system, many states require that
wine pass through a wholesaler or a retailer before reaching the consumer. These
states, and many commentators, contend that the distribution system furthers the
state's interest in taxation, advances the Twenty-First Amendment's important
public policy goal of temperance, and helps prevent alcohol sales to minors."
The 21st Amendment provides, in part, that "The transportation or importation
into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or
use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby
Zywicki continued that the FTC has concluded that "consumers could reap
significant benefits if they had the option of purchasing wine online from
out-of-state sources and having it shipped directly to them. Consumers could
save money, choose from a much greater variety of wines, and enjoy the
convenience of home delivery. Indeed, in states that are litigating the
constitutionality of direct shipping bans, several courts have found that the
bans deprive the state’s consumers of lower prices and greater variety. In
addition, many states appear to have found means of satisfying their tax and
other regulatory goals that are less restrictive than an outright ban. These
states generally report few or no problems with shipments to minors or with tax
The WSWA submitted the
prepared tesimony of Juanita Duggan. She emphasized the argument that direct
sales of alcohol leads to purchases by minors, and that limiting sales to face
to face transactions is the only way to enforce minimum age laws.
David Sloane of WineAmerica also submitted
testimony. He argued that the three tier distribution system, and bans on
direct sales, harm small wineries.
He wrote that "While we do not recommend that Congress take any specific
legislative action at this time to reduce barriers to online wine sales, given
the importance and potential of the Internet, we do, however, recommend that
Congress consider developing legislation to provide more generalized guidance to
the states and courts in this area. Specifically, Congress could indicate that
commerce -- especially e-commerce -- should be allowed in the absence of good,
sufficient reasons to erect barriers, and when there is no alternative and less
disruptive mechanism. The alternative -- that of allowing states to erect
barriers without regard to the Commerce Clause -- will forever limit the
potential of the Internet."
(at right) commented that in 26 states direct sales of alcohol is permitted
interstate, although in some states it is conditioned upon reciprocity. He added
that in 40 states direct sales of alcohol is permitted intrastate. He said that
the WSWA argument "seems to me a little illogical". That is, direct sales works
in these 26 and 40 states. He concluded that "all of these concerns that you
have don't seem to be a problem" in those states.
The WSWA witness responded that with respect to the 40 states that allow
intrastate direct sales, it is a matter of jurisdiction and control. When the
winery or other retailer is in state, that state's courts have jurisdiction over
that seller, and that state can revoke that retailer's license.
|Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on
10/30. The Senate
Commerce Committee held a hearing on the preservation and advancement of
universal service. Michael
Powell, Chairman of the Federal Communications
Commission, wrote in his prepared
testimony [MS Word] that "the FCC is currently reexamining nearly every
aspect of the universal service
program to ensure that the program is administered effectively and that it
remains sustainable as major marketplace and technological developments take
Powell stated that "Traditional telecommunications
services are migrating from old circuit-switched networks to new and advanced
Internet protocol networks. The demand pull of consumer choice and
technological push of network innovation mean that this migration is
inevitable. Indeed, regulators cannot stop it, nor should we want to for it
promises new competitive choices and spell-binding innovation for consumers. Our
efforts to reform the nation's universal service programs must embrace change
and provide sufficient, forward-looking flexibility to ensure that supported
services remain affordable and ubiquitous."
But, he said, "Digital migration should not be seen as a threat to our universal
but an opportunity. Indeed, the fact that our Schools and Libraries program has
succeeded in connecting 99 percent of public schools to the Internet is an
example of universal service success in the Digital Age."
He offered several
recommendations. First, he said, "we must reform the
FCC’s contribution methodology for collecting Universal Service Funds to address
changes in the market and to ensure a more stable funding base. Several trends
have put pressure on the contribution factor: Interstate revenues have been
flat or in decline since 1999 as a result of price competition, bundled packages
and technology substitution. Moreover, expanding the base to include
intra-state revenues may be needed to stem the declining tide."
"Second, we must control the
growth of the Universal Service Fund, mindful that consumers ultimately pay for
achieving our universal service objectives. Particularly, we need a more rational method of distributing universal
service support that promotes competition, but preserves the fund. To this end,
the Joint Board will soon make recommendations to the Commission on ETC
eligibility and portability."
"Third, we must improve the
administration of our vast and sometimes unnecessarily technical rules in our
programs. Clarifying and simplifying our eligibility criteria in the
Schools and Libraries program, Rural Health Care program and low income programs
has been a priority. Indeed, at our November meeting, I will present to the
Commission an item that will advance the important homeland security and public
health interests of rural America by unlocking the funds that Congress
designated for rural health care providers."
Fourth, he stated that "we must continue to diligently
enforce the universal service rules that are currently on the books if we are to
sustain universal service in a digital age, as well as maintain the
accountability of these programs. Our recent enforcement activities are
designed to ensure that every responsible entity pays their fair share. I am
happy to announce that because of our stepped up enforcement efforts, the
contribution factor for the first quarter of next year likely will drop below 9
percent, as opposed to increase to 10 percent as was feared."
Universal service subsidy requirements are codified at
47 U.S.C. § 254.
See also, FCC's
universal service web page.
|There was no issue of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert on
Thursday, October 30.
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Friday, October 31
The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business. See,
Republican Whip Notice.
The Senate will meet at 10:00 AM.
Day two of a three day convention of the American
Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). At 12:15 - 1:45 PM,
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX),
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's Courts, the Internet, and
Intellectual Property Subcommittee will give a luncheon address. See,
[44 pages in PDF] Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H Street.
9:00 AM. The
House Ways and Means Committee will continue its hearing titled "United
States -- China Economic Relations and China's Role in the Global Economy".
notice. Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.
9:00 - 11:00 AM. The
Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) will release
a paper titled "Confronting Digital Piracy: Intellectual Property Protection
in the Digital Era" and host a panel discussion. The speakers will be Robert
Atkinson (PPI), Shane Ham (PPI), and Gigi Sohn
(Public Knowledge). See,
notice. Location: PPI, 600
Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 400.
Deadline for the telemarketers to submit their brief to the
Court of Appeals (10thCir) in FTC v. Mainstream Marketing Service,
No. 03-1429. This is the telemarketers' constitutional challenge to the FTC's
do not call registry. See, October 8, 2003
order [24 pages in
PDF] staying the District Court's opinion, and setting an expedited schedule.
|Monday, November 3
Deadline to submit comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its
Fourth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [49 pages in PDF] in which it
proposes to make spectrum available to federal users that will be displaced
from the 1710-1850 MHz band to make it available for advanced wireless
notice in the Federal Register September 2, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 169, at
Pages 52156 - 52168. See, also stories titled "FCC Releases NPRM Regarding
Allocating Spectrum to DOD to Replace Spectrum Allocated for 3G Services" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 694, July 9, 2003, and "FCC Sets Deadlines for Comments
Regarding Spectrum Reallocations Relating to 3G Services" in TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 731, September 3, 2003. This is ET Docket No. 00-258 and WT Docket
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) regarding the portion of the FCC's
triennial review order [576 pages in PDF] that contains a notice of proposed
rulemaking [NPRM] regarding
modifications to the FCC's rules implementing
47 U.S.C. § 252(i),
which requires local exchange carriers (LECs) to make available to other
telecommunications carriers interconnection agreements approved under Section
notice in the Federal Register, September 2, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 169, at
Pages 52307 - 52312, and September 2 FCC
[3 pages in PDF]. The Federal Register notice states that the reply comment
deadline is October 23. However, the FCC release states that this was in
|Tuesday, November 4
9:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) host an event titled "Rural Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
Showcase and Workshop". For more information, contact Robert Pepper (Chief,
Policy Development) at Robert.Pepper@fcc.gov
or 202 418-2030. See,
[PDF]. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, SW.
This event was previously scheduled for September 18, but was postponed
because of the weather.
9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(DCCir) will hear oral argument in U.S. v. Microsoft and State
of New York v. Microsoft, Nos. 03-5030 and 02-7155. This will be an en banc
argument. Location: Courtroom 20, 333 Constitution Ave. NW.
10:00 AM. The
Senate Judiciary Committee's
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security on "database
security". See, notice. Press contact: Margarita Tapia (Hatch) at 202 224-5225
or David Carle (Leahy) at 202 224-4242. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
3:00 PM. The
House Ways and Means Committee will hold
a hearing titled "IRS Efforts to Modernize its Computer Systems". See,
Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.
|Wednesday, November 5
TENTATIVE. The Senate Judiciary
Committee will hold its second hearing on the USA PATRIOT Act, terrorism
and civil liberties. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The North American Numbering Council
(NANC) will meet. Location: Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street,
SW, Room TW-C305.
12:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar
Association (FCBA) will host a lunch. The speaker will be
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Adelstein. RSVP by Friday, October 31. See,
Location: J.W. Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Intellectual Property and other sections
of the D.C. Bar Association will host a CLE course titled "Secrets of
the Uniform Trade Secrets Act". Prices vary. For more
information, call 202 626-3488. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H
Street NW, B-1 level.
The Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will hold a hearing on
negotiations with Bahrain on a free trade agreement (FTA). The TPSC seeks
comments and testimony to assist the Office of
the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on many topics, including "Relevant
trade-related intellectual property rights issues that should be addressed in
the negotiations" and "Existing barriers to trade in services between the
United States and Bahrain that should be addressed in the negotiations". See,
notice in the Federal Register, August 25, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 164, at
Pages 51062 - 51064.
TIME? The U.S. Court of Appeals
(3rdCir) is scheduled to hear oral argument in Prometheus Radio Project
v. FCC, and numerous other consolidated petitions for review of the
Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)
media ownership order. See,
scheduling order [PDF]. Location: Philadelphia, PA.
|Thursday, November 6
9:30 AM. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in BDPCS v. FCC, No.
02-1369. Judges Randolph, Roberts and Williams will preside. Location: 333 Constitution Ave.
10:00 - 11:30 AM. The Federal Communications
Commission's (FCC) Media Security
and Reliability Council (MRSC) will hold a meeting. See,
notice in the Federal Register, May 29, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 103, at pages
32038 - 32039. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room (TW-C305), 445 12th St.,
3:00 - 5:30 PM. The Department of Justice's (DOJ)
Antitrust Division (ATR) will host a
ceremony and reception commemorating the 100th anniversary of the appointment
of the first Assistant Attorney General (AAG) with antitrust responsibilities.
AAG Hewitt Pate will speak.
In addition, the ATR will give an award to Judge
Richard Posner of
the U.S. Court of Appeals (7thCir). The
DOJ has stated both that the event is open to current and former ATR employees only,
and that "Media interested in attending the event should contact, in advance,
Luke Macaulay, Office of Public Affairs, 202-514-2007." See, ATR
notice of Posner award. Location: Great Hall,
4:00 PM. Barton
Beebe (Cardozo Law School) will present a draft paper titled
"Search and Persuasion in Trademark Law". See,
more information, contact
Robert Brauneis at 202
994-6138 or email@example.com. Location:
George Washington University Law School,
Faculty Conference Center, Burns Building, 5th Floor, 716 20th Street, NW.
6:00 - 8:15 PM. The D.C. Bar Association will host a CLE course titled "How
to Litigate an Intellectual Property Case Series: Part 1 How to Litigate a
Copyright Case". Prices vary. For more information, call 202 626-3488.
Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 level.
|Friday, November 7
12:15 - 1:30 PM. The
Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA)
Wireless Committee will host a luncheon panel discussion titled "Debate on
Licensed vs. Unlicensed Models for Spectrum Management". The speakers will
be Thomas Hazlett (Manhattan Institute), and
Michael Calabrese (New America Foundation). The price to attend is $15. For more
information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
RSVP to email@example.com. Location: Sidley
Austin, 1501 K Street, NW, 6th Floor.
|Groups Argue for Anonymity in Domain Name
10/28. A collection of groups wrote a
letter to the Paul
Twomey, the P/CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
and Numbers (ICANN) "regarding the significant privacy issues surrounding the
database and the need to ensure that strong privacy safeguards are established".
The signatories include the the Electronic Privacy
Information Center (EPIC), Media Access
Project (MAP), American Library Association (ALA),
and other groups.
They argue that "The WHOIS database was originally intended to allow network
administrators to find and fix problems to maintain the stability of the
Internet. It now exposes domain name registrants' personal information to many
other users for many other purposes unrelated to network access. Anyone with
Internet access can now have access to WHOIS data, and that includes stalkers,
governments that restrict dissidents' activities, law enforcement agents without
legal authority, and spammers. The original purpose for WHOIS should be
They also state that "Although there are some domain name registrants who use the
Internet to conduct fraud or to infringe on other people's or companies'
WHOIS must protect the legitimate privacy expectations for domain registrants."
10/30. The Progress and Freedom Foundation
(PFF) released a "study
[PDF] titled "Verizon v. Trinko: Reconciling FCC Regulation and
Antitrust Enforcement", by
William Adkinson of the PFF.
He states that "This controversy is nothing new -- the 1996 Act was in large
part intended to replace years of regulation under the antitrust consent decree
entered by Judge Greene in United States v. AT&T with a new FCC regulatory
regime." He argues that "although there is no implied preemption or immunity
under the 1996 Act, the regulatory system must inform the application of the
antitrust laws in these cases. Plaintiffs should not be permitted to assert
antitrust claims against ILECs based on alleged denials of interconnection or
other conduct subject to the 1996 Act. Such claims are negated by the regulatory
system, which imposes far more extensive obligations on ILECs than the antitrust
laws ever could. Theories of refusals to deal, denial of access to an essential
facility and the like make no sense when the 1996 Act and implementing
regulations require that ILECs provide reasonable access. Indeed, permitting
CLECs or retail customers to bring antitrust actions will interfere with the
access system established by the 1996 Act." The Supreme Court heard oral
argument in the Trinko case on October 14, 2003. See also,
titled "Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Verizon v. Trinko", March 10, 2003,
also published in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 620, March 11, 2003.
10/30. The Department of Justice's (DOJ)
Antitrust Division announced that it will give an award to
He is judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals
(7thCir). The DOJ argues cases before the Seventh Circuit. The award
ceremony and reception will be held on November 6, 2003 at 3:00 -5:30 PM. See, DOJ
10/31. The International Telecommunications
Union (ITU) announced that it will host, in collaboration with the ISO
(International Organization for Standardization) and the ETSI (the European
Telecommunications Standards Institute), a workshop on the future of
communication technologies in motor vehicles. The event will be held in Geneva,
Switzerland on November 24-25. See, ITU
10/30. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman
Powell met with Muna Nijem, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan's
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC). See, FCC
10/29. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
held a two day event on October 29-30 titled "E911 Coordination
Initiative". See, speech [PDF]
by FCC Chairman
10/28. The U.S. District
Court (DC) issued a short order [PDF]
in USA v. First Data and Concord EFS, which states that "trial on the merits
in this matter shall begin on December 15, 2003". See also,
titled "DOJ Sues to Stop Merger of PIN Debit Networks", October 23, 2003, also published
in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 765, October 24, 2003.
10/28. Microsoft announced that it has settled four private class action
lawsuits that allege violation of antitrust law. Microsoft previously settled
suits in several other states. There remain five states in which there are pending,
and certified, class action lawsuits. Also, in
some other states class action complaints were dismissed, or class certification
denied. See, Microsoft
release regarding the latest settlements, and summarizing the status of
antitrust litigation. See also,
transcript of press conference.
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