The Wall Street Journal reports today that the European Commission has started investigating the Microsoft committee stuffing practices in different countries:
In the months and weeks leading up to the vote, Microsoft resellers and other allies joined standards bodies en masse — helping swell the Italian group, for instance, from a half-dozen members to 85. Opponents said Microsoft stacked committees. People familiar with the matter say EU regulators are now questioning whether Microsoft's actions were illegal. Microsoft said at the time that any committee expansion had the effect of making more voices heard; it also said rival International Business Machines Corp. mobilized on the other side of the vote.
If you are interested in transparency of the ISO process, the Commission can have a look at the voting record in Italy. Maybe black magic made those Microsoft business partners appearing in the italian standard committee, or maybe Microsoft promised them "market incentives", as they did in Sweden.
And when Microsoft is interviewed in ZDNet about the committee stuffing practice, they of course minimise the incident, by naming it an "unfortunate accident":
When asked about an alleged vote-rigging incident that occurred in relation to the upcoming International Organization for Standardization (ISO) decision last year, Microsoft's Thomas described it as "an unfortunate accident".
"It was a misunderstanding on behalf of an employee in one of our Swedish subsidiaries," he said. "It's been remedied and we've now reinforced with our people what's expected of them."
Let's hope for competitors and consumers that DIS29500 will have an unfortunate technical accident in Geneva.