Excerpt from our Wall Street Breakfast, a one-page summary of this morning's key market-moving and stock-moving stories:
Summary: Microsoft announced Tuesday that it had launched 55 separate legal actions around the world against software counterfeiters and the websites who assist them in selling pirated Microsoft products. The breakdown of the legal actions by nation is as follows: 15 in the United States, 10 in Germany, 10 in the Netherlands, 5 in France and 5 in Britain, as well as proceedings in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Korea, Mexico and Poland. Besides the fact that counterfeit software cuts into Microsoft's profits, a senior attorney at the company, Matt Lundy, voiced concerns that, "Counterfeit software is defective and dangerous because counterfeiters tamper with the genuine software code, which leaves the door open to identity theft and other serious security breaches." A survey conducted by independent market research group IDC and sponsored by Microsoft found 25% of Web sites offering counterfeit product keys, pirated software, key generators or crack tools, attempted to install either malicious software or potentially unwanted software upon activation.
Related links: Microsoft F1Q07 (Qtr End 9/30/06) Earnings Call Transcript • Microsoft Cracks Down on Counterfeit Software Auctions Worldwide [PR Newswire] • Microsoft Toughens Anti-Piracy Actions [AP] • Microsoft's Built-in Vista Security is "So" Safe It Will Disrupt Legal Users
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) • iShares S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:IVV), iShares Russell 1000 Index (NYSEARCA:IWB), streetTRACKS DJ Wilshire Large Cap (ELR)
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