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Microsoft is not happy

Operating system giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) became the first high profile victim of aggressive European Union antitrust enforcement (but it would not be the last).  Slapped with almost $2B USD in fines, the company was lashed for browser bundling and other tactics viewed by the European Commission regulators as anticompetitive.

Microsoft appealed the fine, but the results were less than what it was hoping for.  The appeals body -- the General Court of the European Union announced [PDF] this week its decision to cut the €899M fine to a mere €860M ($1.1B USD), a reduction of €39 (~$48M USD).

A Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters it was "disappointed with the court's ruling."

With the appeals exhausted, it now appears Microsoft will have to pay up to preserve the billions in yearly business it gets from the EU.  The ruling is the latest setback for Microsoft in Europe.  

The company has suffered from plenty of bad PR in Europe in the wake of UK court proceedings which detailed a sexual harassment by managers.  The incident led to several resignations and several civil suits, placing Microsoft squarely in the crosshairs of the EU state's active tabloid industry.

Sources: General Court of the EU [PDF], Reuters

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RE: I think I fugred it out...
By FITCamaro on 6/28/2012 9:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
EU needs cash to keep bailing out its member countries. Pure and simple.

Claiming to protect fairness by being unfair is not only illogical, its downright wrong.

Microsoft does not force anyone to use the other products that it includes with Windows. It provides them as a starting point, the same as Mac.

RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Kiffberet on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/2012 9:52:16 AM , Rating: 5
Okay what the fuck is wrong with you people. Honestly? You're talking jail time for putting a free browser into an OS!? Do you realize how insane that sounds?

I'm so glad I'm not running a business. Knowing people like you and Beenthere are out there would probably put me in an early grave.

By it_aint_subtle on 6/29/2012 8:25:55 AM , Rating: 1
sounds ridiculous doesnt it. Its almost as ridiculous as a $1.1 billion fine.

RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Mint on 7/1/2012 9:55:03 AM , Rating: 2
I think the ruling is weak, but a one-time payment of $2B is peanuts for Microsoft, just like the $1B+ that Intel offered AMD to settle the antitrust case was nothing, and both benefited over 10x as much through their disputed actions, whether legal or illegal.

Even more so, the EU isn't going to bail out jack with penalty funds if $2B is all the can get from one of the biggest companies in the world.

FYI, the US redistributes about 10x as much between member states as the EU does. That's the biggest reason that the US can live with a single currency but Europe is struggling.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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