A difficult question: public or private?
There is still some doubt over the precise nature of the dispute that led the World Bank to come to its decisions and to make its public declarations of its sanctions against Satyam. Given the response that Satyam issued on Christmas Day, it is extremely unlikely that we have seen the end of the matter. Despite the obvious public interest in the dispute, it is important, on balance, that this disagreement gets resolved without speculative media coverage. We also need to see the matter resolved quickly and unambiguously, to avoid a broader loss of market confidence.
However, the debate about how many of the inner details of the dispute should be made public is very finely balanced. On one hand, the dispute between Satyam and the World Bank may be best resolved in private, with little or no information other than the eventual conclusion being made public. This could protect the commercial confidentiality of both parties, and ensure that delicate matters are not picked over distastefully by the press. The counter argument is that some long-running IT disputes, such as the EU-Microsoft cases, have taken longer, have cost more, have been publicly ridiculed and have reduced market confidence largely because they have been heard in private and have been misted by opaque legal processes.
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