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Thread: EU fines Microsoft record $1.35 billion

  1. #1
    vaidyanath's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +30BT Rep +30BT Rep +30BT Rep +30BT Rep +30BT Rep +30
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    The European Commission fined Microsoft a record 899 million euros ($1.35 billion) on Wednesday for defying sanctions imposed on the software giant for antitrust violations, far exceeding the original penalty.

    The Commission, executive arm of the European Union, has now fined Microsoft 1.68 billion euros for its original violation and for failing to comply with sanctions, more than any other firm. It said no other company had ever ignored sanctions.

    "Microsoft was the first company in 50 years of EU competition policy that the Commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an antitrust decision," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.

    The company said in a statement that the fines concerned "past issues" and it was now looking to the future.

    The Commission said in a landmark 2004 ruling -- upheld by an EU court last year -- that Microsoft had withheld needed interoperability information to rival makers of "work group server" software.

    The software, which operates printers and sign-ons for small office groups, must interoperate with desktop Windows machines. The Commission found Microsoft denied vital interoperability codes to rivals, whose market share then shriveled, to be replaced by Microsoft's own product.

    Microsoft was ordered to provide the information. It agreed to do so but imposed high royalties on grounds of innovation.

    The Commission found instead that the information lacked much innovation and was more like a lock to which Microsoft was withholding the combination. It decided the royalties were unreasonable.
    "I hope that today's decision closes a dark chapter in Microsoft's record of non-compliance with the Commission's March 2004 decision," Kroes said.

    After fining Microsoft 497 million euros in 2004, the Commission fined the company another 280.5 million euros in July 2006 for failing to comply with the sanctions.

    The latest decision picks up from where that fine left off, for the period from June 21, 2006 until October 21, 2007. After that, Microsoft agreed to reduced royalties and to provide needed information.

    "As we demonstrated last week with our new interoperability principles and specific actions to increase the openness of our products, we are focusing on steps that will improve things for the future," the Microsoft statement said.

    Last week, knowing a large fine was imminent for its failure to provide interoperability information, the company publicly promised to publish critical information so rival programs worked better with Windows.

    The Commission took a wait-and-see attitude. It said Microsoft had several times made similar promises, only to have no real effect.

    Microsoft still faces other potential action by the Commission.

    In January, the EU executive started two new formal antitrust investigations against Microsoft -- one relating to interoperability, and one relating to the tying of separate software products.

    Source: Reuters
    Last edited by Hairbautt; 03-01-2008 at 03:27 AM. Reason: Added image.

  2. News (Archive)   -   #2
    Aaxel21's Avatar AHHHHH!
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    MICROSOFT!.... WTF?! Did they not see Shell's $27.5 billion profit. I think thats about $2.2 million an hour. I guess the oil companies are immune to big fined for ripping people off.

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  3. News (Archive)   -   #3
    BawA's Avatar FST Pioneer BT Rep: +1
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    i find anti trust law very ridicules, i mean making some company to innovate less so other have space for innovating, wtf? or making a company have lesser control on their product, am talking about the media player case.


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  4. News (Archive)   -   #4
    4play's Avatar knob jockey
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    Quote Originally Posted by BawA View Post
    i find anti trust law very ridicules, i mean making some company to innovate less so other have space for innovating, wtf? or making a company have lesser control on their product, am talking about the media player case.
    The point your missing is your not allowed to use a monopoly in one market to crush competition in another.

    If Microsoft has 90% of the desktop market and you get WMP for free with it that means people are going to start encoding their videos in wmv format since they know 90% of the people can play them.

    They are doing exactly the same in the server market. They have a monopoly on the desktop so they implement features in the desktop that only works with MS servers. your now forced to buy their servers or go without.

    Their office open formats are also another attempt to keep users locked into their office software. governments around the world are realising that it has lots of documents in formats they cant use any more and are passing laws to say in future everything has to be saved in an open format. So Microsoft have come up with an open standard that only they can implement and incorporates parts of the current .doc file format that no one else has access to.

    Microsoft are using their current market position to shaft the consumer not to innovate.

  5. News (Archive)   -   #5
    OMG 1 billion i want this money
    Check my blog with stuff

    www.baniak1987.blogspot.com


  6. News (Archive)   -   #6
    BawA's Avatar FST Pioneer BT Rep: +1
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    If Microsoft has 90% of the desktop market and you get WMP for free with it that means people are going to start encoding their videos in wmv format since they know 90% of the people can play them.
    so you mean they must charge users for something that they dont need to charge, but heck its EU fuck the average user, fund the companies so they can fund back the governments and make more weapons.
    if your so worried about monopoly then Encoders should be your concern who according to yourself will encode for a certain player.

    They are doing exactly the same in the server market. They have a monopoly on the desktop so they implement features in the desktop that only works with MS servers. your now forced to buy their servers or go without.
    yeh sure force MS to spend more resources to make something work with other products.
    when i make my sandwich i make it so i can enjoy it not the person next to me.

    Their office open formats are also another attempt to keep users locked into their office software. governments around the world are realising that it has lots of documents in formats they cant use any more and are passing laws to say in future everything has to be saved in an open format. So Microsoft have come up with an open standard that only they can implement and incorporates parts of the current .doc file format that no one else has access to.
    maybe they should use those fines-earned millions to make such a system to work on windows instead of forcing other to do it for them with their expenses.

    and face it this is market if you dont cover your back somebody will stab you.


    "You can be mad as a mad dog at the way things went; you can swear and curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go"
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  7. News (Archive)   -   #7
    4play's Avatar knob jockey
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    Quote Originally Posted by BawA View Post
    so you mean they must charge users for something that they dont need to charge, but heck its EU fuck the average user, fund the companies so they can fund back the governments and make more weapons.
    if your so worried about monopoly then Encoders should be your concern who according to yourself will encode for a certain player.
    What are you talking about? this is to increase the competition and help consumers and you go off on a rant about how the EU screws consumers to help the big corporation. Isn't the opposite happening here?

    yeh sure force MS to spend more resources to make something work with other products.
    when i make my sandwich i make it so i can enjoy it not the person next to me.
    They are not being forced to make other products work or alter their products. they are being forced to open up some of their specs so others products can talk to Microsoft products if they want to.
    maybe they should use those fines-earned millions to make such a system to work on windows instead of forcing other to do it for them with their expenses.
    It would not cost millions to make other products work. the competition would do this. Microsoft isnt the biggest software company in the world because they make the best products. its because they have locked everyone into their platform.

    Imagine a market where every word processor used a standard file type. now you would have a choice in which software to use. at home would you use word if it cost 100, probably not. open office is free and since they would be able to use the same file which would you choose. (lets not bring piracy into this now)

    The problem is people are forced to use word since everyone else uses it and nothing else can properly read and write to this format.

    and face it this is market if you dont cover your back somebody will stab you.
    a witty saying proves nothing - voltaire

    oh yeah This is the LAW in the eu. If Microsoft don't like it then they should not be operating in Europe.

  8. News (Archive)   -   #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4play View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BawA View Post
    i find anti trust law very ridicules, i mean making some company to innovate less so other have space for innovating, wtf? or making a company have lesser control on their product, am talking about the media player case.
    The point your missing is your not allowed to use a monopoly in one market to crush competition in another.

    If Microsoft has 90% of the desktop market and you get WMP for free with it that means people are going to start encoding their videos in wmv format since they know 90% of the people can play them.

    They are doing exactly the same in the server market. They have a monopoly on the desktop so they implement features in the desktop that only works with MS servers. your now forced to buy their servers or go without.

    Their office open formats are also another attempt to keep users locked into their office software. governments around the world are realising that it has lots of documents in formats they cant use any more and are passing laws to say in future everything has to be saved in an open format. So Microsoft have come up with an open standard that only they can implement and incorporates parts of the current .doc file format that no one else has access to.

    Microsoft are using their current market position to shaft the consumer not to innovate.
    Why is it Microsoft's fault they make the most popular desktop?
    Why should they be forced to cater to other companies?

  9. News (Archive)   -   #9
    Gilgameshx's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +2
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    Forged looks like you didn't read much about it, microsoft bought everyone who tried to compete with them on market=killing competition=monopoly=illegal. I'm glad they fined them cause i hate microsoft

  10. News (Archive)   -   #10
    BawA's Avatar FST Pioneer BT Rep: +1
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    Forged looks like you didn't read much about it, microsoft bought everyone who tried to compete with them on market=killing competition=monopoly=illegal. I'm glad they fined them cause i hate microsoft
    so its MS's problem that those companies sold themself?
    btw what companies your talking about?


    "You can be mad as a mad dog at the way things went; you can swear and curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go"
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