Print 15 comment(s) - last by Stephen!.. on May 30 at 7:39 AM

The 2008 EU antitrust fine was issued for failing to comply with a previous order in 2004

Microsoft appealed an 899 million euro, or $1.3 billion USD, antitrust fine in an EU court on Tuesday. 

Microsoft, an American electronics, computing and software corporation, was initially issued a fine of 497 million euro by the European Commission in 2004 for abusing its dominant position to hinder competitors. But in 2008, the European Commission issued another fine for failing to comply with the previous order in 2004, which asked Microsoft to allow other products to work with computers running the company's software. 

But Microsoft called the EU's 2008 antitrust fine "excessive and undeserved," since regulators were asking for almost double the previous fine. The 2008 antitrust fine totaled 899 million euro, or $1.3 billion USD.

"This case would not have arisen if the Commission had been as explicit with respect to rates which it wanted Microsoft to charge as it had been with all other terms of licensing proposed by Microsoft," said Jean Francois Bellis, Microsoft's lawyer.

Despite Microsoft's stance, EU regulators claimed that Microsoft showed that it was able to determine measures needed to comply with the 2004 order within a short period of time after a 2007 court ruling. 

In 2009, Microsoft decided to reach a settlement with EU regulators by agreeing to let users chose their own browser when using its Windows OS.

Now, Microsoft has filed an appeal against the EU regulators' antitrust fine. Analysts believe the General Court's verdict, which is usually given between six months and a year after a hearing, could either give the European Commission discretion in its enforcement, or change how the court handles the Commission's position on high fines. Ramon Garcia Gallardo, a partner at SJ Berwin, noted, "fine reductions in cartel fines have been relatively small."

The Computing Technology Industry Association and the Association for Competitive Technology favored Microsoft's position in the case while Oracle Corp., Red Hat Inc. and IBM supported the European Commission. 

"This is a case about a gambler who doubled up on a losing bet, lost again, and now wants his money back," said Nicholas Khan, a lawyer for the European Commission.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Floorbit on 5/26/2011 7:03:50 AM , Rating: 2 the European court.
Not absolutely sure but,think that the issue was server compatability. Microsoft of course does not have the cheapest server software on the net. They do not sell for the most part for the largest amount of 'end-server'users. They sell for the largest amount of 'end-client'users. My feeling is that most of Europes industry is using the other cheaper technologies. Those then have software that ride of top of them to the extent they are compatable of course.These sell to the largest market of server users.
For Microsoft to deal compatability in a world of which it must realistically compete for their sale,they are not going to do so in a market they do not apreciate sales anyway.
Think that the best apps run on Microsoft server,although that is not the most popular server software being used. The whole idea is a scam at the root of the problem . With software standards there are of course difference platforms of relevance in substituting one for another software,..or of course a different platform altogether.
Maybe EU 'should'pay for their own server platform(s). Anyway there is something different going on. Which has nothing to do with Microsoft,or computing. Just a position to be inocuase from accusation.
And yes I did not hear Microsofts case,or the cause against them.
- just my opinion.

You can change behavior by saying that one simply does not have any.
IBM,Red Hat,Apple etc. should stay out of it . They are not as lucky as they may wish to convey.

By Intuit on 5/26/2011 5:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
When this was filed, the EU economies were in and headed for the dumps. All the Governments were hurting for cash and looking for new, creative sources to obtain it. For the Clinton Administration of the 90s, that was the Tabacco companies. EU took note, but were a little smarter about it in that, they went after foreign companies. (yes they're after other American companies too)

Given the illogical nature of their lawsuits, I really suspect that there is also an anti-American component to this, which was especially (and understandably) fervent during the Jr Bush years; when these were filed.

Does it really make any sense to sue a Corporation for including an additional feature in their overall product ? Can the US Government sue Mercedes for including Air-Conditioning with their vehicles ? Can the makers of BB-Lean sue Microsoft for including Windows Media Player ? Should General Motors in their engines, be forced to include Fiat's patented MultiAir feature as an option to their own HCCI technology ?

Nearly the entire basis for these lawsuits are fishy at best. The only part that ever made any sense, was about standards-compliance. I could somewhat understand forcing them to open-up a little on portions of their patented programming technologies. But Microsoft never prevented anybody from downloading and installing Opera. Microsoft never blocked anybody from visiting Mozilla.Org. Microsoft never went to Apple and said, 'MSI will cost you $16,234,455 to license for Safari.' In fact, I've had all three (+ chrome many months after it's release,) on my systems long before these exploiting lawsuits ever came into fruition. Been a longtime user of Opera and (their politics aside) has been my personal favorite.

Microsoft is not a major seller of PCs; only one component there-of. Many situational parallels (+worse) have been brought up by others here but the fact is, they're found in many industries. Microsoft never forced HP, Dell, ASUS, etcetera, to buy Microsoft Operating Systems. (yes they offered exclusive deals but all major comps do that)

Google was supposed to develop and release a competing desktop OS but it didn't take them long to realize what a gargantuan task it is, to engineer a comprehensive desktop OS. Best to stick with relatively tiny, platform limited, embedded systems for phones and small gadgets.

By Stephen! on 5/30/2011 7:39:55 AM , Rating: 2
After already spending $8.5 billion on Skype, $1.3 billion seems like petty cash by comparison.

By kleinma on 5/24/2011 1:02:15 PM , Rating: 5
Sure Mr. Jobs..... whatever you say...

By Da W on 5/24/2011 1:09:16 PM , Rating: 5
Apple shouldn't tie iTune store and app store to its products and Google shouldn't tie its browser and search engine to its phone OS.
So many things have changed since 2004, so many companies are pulling a Microsoft without nobody saying anything.
Besides, success of Fifefox in the US is proof that the EU was wrong.

By MikadoWu on 5/24/2011 1:29:00 PM , Rating: 3
Da W, this is about the most intelligent thing I have read in a while..... :)

Really, does anyone else remember Netscape stating in 1998 that the Netscape Browser OS would be on 40% of the computer.

Everyone in the Tech industry new this was coming. Freaking Lawyers have done nothing but slowed things down.

I do not think it is a pulling a Microsoft, but more and understanding of where technology is going.

Could is nice, but where is the privacy.........

By Ammohunt on 5/24/2011 2:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
Go figure! Microsoft ahead of the tech game Nahh!

By Reclaimer77 on 5/24/2011 8:22:49 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should just be like "ok, fuck it". And release European versions of Windows with NO browser. See how the unwashed masses would like true "choice" in their browser, go back to the "good old" days of having to BUY one if you didn't like Internet Explorer.

Instead the EU wants to force Microsoft to be a free browser distribution hub via Windows for every browser under the sun. It's absurd and nobody with an I/Q over 40 could possibly support this shit.

By Alexvrb on 5/24/2011 11:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
I've said this before, and I'll say it again: They tried that, and the European Commission was NOT cool with it. At all. So they had no choice, really.

Read the last paragraph, in particular. If they had gone ahead with the Windows 7 "E" browser-free version, the EU would have just forced them into a ballot or similar option anyway. Plus there were apparentely concerns for upgraders. Although, I think that if you can upgrade Windows, you can slap a browser on a USB stick.

Here's another link where ECIS is quoted as saying that the browserless version did "not go far enough" as well.

I think the whole thing is idiotic. Firefox and Chrome are doing quite well on their own, even in the US where we don't have a browser poll at all. If you don't like IE it is still perfectly good for downloading an alternative browser. MS makes no attempt to stop you from downloading and installing Opera, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, et al. Plus IE is just a browser, and a free one at that. I mean a browser is a basic feature at this point.

If the EU really walked the walk, they'd be demanding a browser poll in OS X and Chrome OS - and they wouldn't want to listen to any silly "but the browser IS the OS" excuse from Google, either! :P

By Fireshade on 5/25/2011 4:55:02 AM , Rating: 2
Your comment is based on how things are now .

Back then, with the first fine, Microsoft had a different argument on forcing their browser on the user: IE was supposedly an integral part of the OS and could not be separated from the OS (which was proven to be untrue quickly enough).

Also, many people here forget that the fine was not entirely about browser choice. It was more about Microsoft abusing its monopoly. Having a monopoly is fine, but abusing it is not. Seemingly IBM, Red Hat and others were victimized by Microsoft's abuse.

Microsoft knew the (EU) rules and as that lawyer put it, they gambled and lost. It's as simple as that.
Please people, stick with the facts and do not let your emotions rule your comments.

By Reclaimer77 on 5/25/2011 10:12:32 AM , Rating: 2
You can run MacOS, Linux, or ChromeOS. There is no "monopoly". And how are they "abusing" anyone by including a free browser anyway?

By Alexvrb on 5/25/2011 9:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
No crap, Sherlock. I wasn't replying to the DT article. I was replying to someone who said they should sell a browserless version - which, ONCE AGAIN, they already tried that, and the EC was not satisfied. So they had no choice but to basically distribute competing browsers in their own software. I think that's idiotic, and I think the EC should really walk the walk and put the same rules on Apple and Google.

[sarcasm] After all, Apple has an "MP3 player monopoly*" and Google has a "search engine monopoly*" so clearly they're abusing their monopolies in other areas to push things like iTunes and Gmail! [/sarcasm]

* Monopoly being defined in EU terms of "has plenty of competition but they have a big chunk of the market so clearly they must be a monopoly somehow".

By eldakka on 5/24/2011 10:26:36 PM , Rating: 1
Google shouldn't tie its browser and search engine to its phone OS

I'm confused, how has Google tied its browser and search engine to their phone OS?

Last I checked, the Google browser, Chrome, runs on Windows PCs, Macs and Linux. So its not tied to their phone OS.

I just did a Google search (you know, using their search engine) from my Windows PC. I can access the Google search engine from my maemo phone, my old Symbian phone, Macs, Linux, hell I can access their search engine from any device that supports some sort network connection. So again, how is their search tied to their phone OS?

Unless you mean their phone OS (Android) is tied to their browser and search engine, such that on Android phones you can only use the Google Chrome browser and search engine?

But then, you can run Firefox and Opera browsers on Android, therefore their phone OS isn't tied to the Google browser. And I can use other search engines, such as Bing from an Android device. Again, not tied to their search engine.

I don't think 'tied' means what you think it means.

By cjohnson2136 on 5/24/2011 2:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't you go tell Jobs that he can not have a monopoly over his software.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki