Software juggernaut Microsoft has been involved in an ongoing legal battle with the European Union since a 2004 antitrust ruling was handed down. When DailyTech last looked into the European Union v. Microsoft case, Microsoft was rather reserved after learning that it lost its appeal.
"So, we look forward to continued efforts to implement and comply with today’s decision," said Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel Brad Smith in September. "We welcome the opportunity for continued discussion to adhere to our duties with the European Commission, and we look forward to hopefully continuing to move technology forward to create more jobs on this continent."
It appears now that Microsoft is finally giving up its fight with the European Commission. EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes personally spoke with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on the phone earlier this morning and reached a definitive agreement in regards to compliance with the ruling.
"I welcome that Microsoft has finally undertaken concrete steps to ensure full compliance with the 2004 decision," said Kroes. "It is regrettable that Microsoft has only complied after a considerable delay, two court decisions, and the imposition of daily penalty payments."
"As of today, the major issues concerning compliance have been resolved," Kroes added. "It is a victory day for the consumer... not the Commission."
According to the agreement, Microsoft will have to comply with three separate changes to its business.
Should Microsoft fail to comply with any of these changes, "the agreements will be enforceable before the High Court in London, and will provide for effective remedies, including damages, for third-party developers in the event that Microsoft breaches those agreements," according to the European ommission.
For its part, Microsoft simply stated that it will "work closely with the commission and the industry to ensure a flourishing and competitive environment for information technology."
In July 2006, Microsoft was fined €497 million ($710 million USD) for as a result of the 2004 antitrust ruling. The commission then raised the cap on Microsoft’s daily fines from $2.6 million USD to $3.8 million USD in July 2006. Two days later, Microsoft was fined an additional $375.4 million USD in July 2006 for failing to comply with the ruling. Microsoft lost its appeal on September 17, 2007 and the initial €497 million fine was upheld.
In addition to the fine, Microsoft must also pay 80 percent of the European Commission's legal expenses.
quote: My point was to say another freedom (negotiation) has been removed. This is not only going to affect MS but will set a precedent that other companies will have to follow. Otherwise there will be inconsistencies in the law if it is applied to some and not others.
quote: must license them for a reasonable price to others. This requirement is essential to encourage competition.
quote: Not selling a license for interoperability should not be illegal. It should be a business decision. The market will determine whether it is a wise one or not.
quote: A monopoly (from Greek monos, one + polein, to sell) is defined as a persistent market situation where there is only one provider of a product or service, in other words a firm that has no competitors in its industry.
quote: Software juggernaut Microsoft has been involved in an ongoing legal battle with the European Union since a 2004 antitrust ruling was handed down
quote: This is a mute point these days
quote: Uh, "moot" point? ;)
quote: Most first time home buyers these days buy with very little down and pay mortgage insurance on the second mortgage. Don't know where this guy lives, but if it's a high cost state then a $300K purchase will qualify for an FHA mortgage which requires only ~3% down. Down payments are really not much of an issue these days, which is partly why so many speculators piled into the real estate market in recent years since they could speculate sometimes with $0 down.
quote: This compared to things in the USA where the wealthy get extra tax breaks while those who work for a living and don't own their own homes get screwed.
quote: I don't agree with all programs provided to help those without money, but socialism isn't the problem, poorly designed programs are.
quote: If you own your own home in the USA, there are a lot of tax breaks, but if you rent and don't own, you are SCREWED. In a way, you can almost say that those who own their own homes(even if you pay mortgage payments) are the wealthy compared to those of us who have to rent because it costs over $300,000 to buy a house.
quote: . While the weathly pay a greater percentage of thier income in income taxes... that percentage has been on the decline while thier share of the income pie has become greater
quote: Starting salaries for all the top 10 or so most popular degrees have been rising fast for years. If you bothered to listen to the national news at all last May it was the news for about a week that college recruiters were saying it was the best job market they had seen in their entire lives. People I knew personally were getting multiple counter-offers from employers, with the interview process at times seemingly reversed.. and this has been the general case for several years. We are talking about America, right?
quote: The wealthy actually pay a higher percentage income tax than middle class, who also pay a higher percentage income tax than low income...all while there are people on welfare & living on section 8 who pay NO income tax.
quote: Last year, Buffett said, he was taxed at 17.7 percent on his taxable income of more than $46 million. His receptionist was taxed at about 30 percent.
quote: You've explained why his tax rate is lower, but you haven't explained why Buffett's dollar of investment profit should be taxed less than my dollar of income from working hard. Obviously he knows why his taxes are lower, he just doesn't think it's appropriate.
quote: If your family makes the US median household income of $48K a year and has the average of say 2 children then you're not going to have much more than peanuts to invest at the low investment tax rate, but if you have $1 billion then you can invest all but peanuts of your money, so "everyone can do it" hardly expresses the reality.
quote: Ever heard of "supply and demand"? Supply will not go up without demand, and when demand goes up then companies will invest and increase supply, so I am in fact causing investment to occur by spending my money.
quote: People seem to think "how it should work" is that the wealthy would pay the greatest percentage, but that's not the way it is.
quote: the point is that if you are not pulling your own weight, then you are in fact "dead weight" and a burden on the rest of the society.
quote: Recall my response was regarding why the rich need to pay more taxes than the poor or even median household. An easy calculation makes this quite clear. The feds spend over $9K per capita, and the median family has income under $50K and 3-4 family members, so the feds spend effectively $27-36K for them.
quote: In other words, 50% of American households are dead weight? Or do you propose that our median family should spend 50-75% of their income on federal taxes, plus ???% on state and local taxes, leaving probably only a few thousand for food and housing per year?
quote: FYI, I never referred to any sort of rights, but only said that for a stable society it is necessary that noone feel like that are getting such a small piece of the pie that they have little to lose by upsetting the party.
quote: Look around Latin America to see what kind of governments you'll get if you don't make a decent effort to keep the lower classes from feeling like they're getting shafted.
quote: AMEN!laziness + U.S. of A. + monopolism = screw people with money
quote: The EU is just a bunch of scam artists out to create laws, screw companies from free market, and make a profit while doing so.
quote: If you had taken economics you should know that monopoly power actually is worse for the free market than certain government controls. The EU definitely knows what they're doing by putting restrictions on Microsoft. Besides, you should be happy. As a consumer, any anti-trust action benefits your side of the supply/demand curve.
quote: They are complaining because they can't make it "as good" as the windows stuff, stating that Microsoft uses "secret" API's
quote: only setting the price tag at the same level as the versions including WMP and IE.
quote: You have the ability to Install any aftermarket software you want (provided it works on Windows) and go on your merry way. It's not like having any of that software on your system is killing you is it?
quote: Theres probably some law in the EU that wouldnt allow MS to pull their products. That or they'll invent such a law... quote: Theres probably some law in the U.S. of A. that prevents to pull MS's monopoly abusing products. That or they'll invent such an anti-capitalistic law...
quote: Theres probably some law in the U.S. of A. that prevents to pull MS's monopoly abusing products. That or they'll invent such an anti-capitalistic law...
quote: MORE adults can work in France than the US!
quote: As for "more adults in France HAVE to work than in the US", that contradicts so many "France is bad" stereotypes about France that I'll leave it to you to decide which is your favorite.
quote: Therefore, what you state as "consistently lower" is not accurate. The US has always considered a roughly 5% unemployment rate to be "full employment".
quote: You can keep your so-called "free" and "fair" market.
quote: If i were MS, id pull all MS products off the shelves in europe and stop selling my OS completely there.
quote: Or we can rise up and end these monopolies, and declare the freedom to use what ideas we want, when we want.
quote: liberal crap
quote: I'm not against capitalism, but in a 100% free market, you are always going to end up with a monopoly at some point.
quote: No. The whole point of a free market economy is that no monopolies are allowed to exist.
quote: For example, it could be argued that the natural monopoly Microsoft has with Office has actually been good for consumers since it defined a number of de-facto file formats used by all businesses around the world. Without Office, data interchange between 'n' different office suites would probably be a real problem (point of inefficiency) for businesses.
quote: That would be true if Microsoft Office's file formats were interoperable, which they aren't.
quote: Those file formats rely so heavily on Windows that even Microsoft's own software can't handle those files correctly on other platforms. Try exchanging files between Microsoft Office for Windows and Microsoft Office for Mac and you'll see.
quote: If the other product developers felt so strongly about this as you do, then they would not be advertising product compatibility.
quote: They would acting like the EU stating monopoly.
quote: ...That there cannot be a monopoly if MS cant even get their application to work.
quote: ...according to you, none of them work.
quote: I dont have experience with other office applications - I am going by what the competition is stating in their product features.
quote: I really think the rest of the world needs to follow the EU's lead.
quote: I may not have a degree in economics(its in software engineering), but I don't need one to express my beliefs that only require simple common sense.
quote: I'm all for the same sort of sanctions being used against other companies with similiar tactics, and honestly, I'd love to be able to run OSX on my PC.
quote: So, if I wanted to put it on a machine that has dual quad-core Xeons, it would cost me $140,000.
quote: Royalties for said information will be a one-time payment of €10,000 ($14,348 USD).