OSI Asks German Competition Authority to Investigate Novell Sale

by Keith Vance

For the first time ever, the OSI has asked for an investigation into the purchase of an open source company. The organization has asked Germany's Federal Cartel Office to look into Microsoft's role in the sale of Novell to Attachmate.

The Open Source Initiative has asked Germany's Federal Cartel Office to investigate the sale of Novell.

What the OSI is concerned about is that the open source patents Novell owns are to be transferred to a consortium of companies led by Microsoft that includes Oracle, Apple and EMC.

"The fact that Microsoft was leading the takeover of Novell's patents was itself alarming to the open source community," OSI President Michael Tiemann said, "but when it was revealed that Microsoft had recruited Oracle, Apple, and EMC to be co-owners of the patents, the OSI Board felt compelled to request that competition authorities take a closer look at the proposed transaction."

OSI Director Simon Phipps said, "This is a significant new step for OSI, who have not previously referred a matter to competition authorities. It reflects the changing emphasis for the organization, shifting from a role focussed almost exclusively on approving licenses to a more general role representing the interests of the open source movement."

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This article was originally published on Wednesday Dec 29th 2010
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