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Analysts: Microsoft Has Antitrust Anxiety

They say the threat of a lawsuit is what triggered the company's decision last week to pull a PDF feature from Office 2007 and to allow OEMs to yank its own electronic document format from Windows Vista.
"Microsoft has a monopoly in two markets [Office and Windows]," said Wilcox. "If it competes with its partners in any other area, they have the choice of either competing or going to court."

Last month, long-time partner Symantec sued Microsoft, charging that the Redmond, Wash. company had stolen data storage technologies from its Veritas unit. Symantec demanded that Vista be banned until those technologies were stripped from the OS.

Wilcox also wondered about motives on both Adobe's and Microsoft's part. "Can Adobe legitimately argue that PDF is an 'adjacent market'? If that's really the case, there's a different context to look at Microsoft's decision to pull both PDF and XPS."

But with Microsoft talking and Adobe not commenting, the discussion is very one-sided. "If Adobe really is planning to file an antitrust complaint, what is the company going to say? Adobe doesn't want to poison its complaint or reveal legal strategy by commenting," Wilcox said on his blog Friday. "Microsoft doesn't suffer from the same constraints and can tell whatever story it wants."

"We haven't seen the whole story on this," agreed Helm.

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