Print 60 comment(s) - last by tynopik.. on Jul 11 at 10:47 PM

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 Digimonkey on 6/28/2012 11:09:20 AM , Rating: 0
Microsoft was just one of many targets. It was just too frickin' dumb to stay within the laws of the nations it operated in.

The problem is they are making the law up as they go, then throwing up retroactive fines. It's not fair but yet Microsoft gets punished more for even attempting to fight it. I'm really curious if we'd see this same behavior out of the EU if Microsoft was in a member state.

RE: I think I fugred it out...
By BZDTemp on 6/28/2012 1:46:39 PM , Rating: 2
Lots of companies have been fined for anti-competitive behavior. It does not matter where there from it matters how they do business.

The EU is a union of Democratic countries not some scam system and no laws are being made up like you suggest. And as for the fine the money is like a drop in an ocean compared to the EU budget and it's hardly a major thing for Microsoft either.

Microsoft holds a tight grip of the OS market (to name just one market) and the grip was even tighter back then. They used to grab the Office application market and had they been allowed they would have made IE and Windows Media Player the de-facto standards as well (they came damn close).

Try asking yourself this. Why would Microsoft "give away" a browser or a Media Player "for free" if they didn't stand to gain something. Or maybe you could look up Netscape vs. Microsoft and get informed.

RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Digimonkey on 6/28/2012 2:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
Try asking yourself this. Why would Microsoft "give away" a browser or a Media Player "for free" if they didn't stand to gain something. Or maybe you could look up Netscape vs. Microsoft and get informed.

Listen, I'm not gonna argue about why Microsoft wants to continue development of IE and Media Player and bundle that into windows because there is no way of finding out short of talking to Microsoft Execs.

That said people expect a web browser and media player with their OS. It's what a modern OS offers. Mac OS offers that, most Desktop Linux Distros offer that. It's common practice so whats the point in the fine? What exactly is the lesson to be learned here?

RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 6/29/2012 5:49:32 AM , Rating: 1
See my other reply to you...MS execs quoted by Intel CEO's UNDER OATH saying they would "cut off their air supply" by giving away a dupe of netscape. Try taking BZD's adivce and GET INFORMED.

No point in arguing. YOU'LL LOSE. Microsoft already cleared it up for you. If they didn't read the FREAKING verdict straight from the JUDGE! Emails were even more damning (from and to Bill G himself, Alchin too...LOL). The lesson is they never should have been allowed to do it, the others just were forced to follow or they'd also die. Thank god google can bleed with chrome as long as MS and IE... :) But for netscape...No dice. Are you really this naive? Say it ain't so.

If it wasn't for businesses, firefox would be dead too. Microsoft continues to dev IE/Media player to keep the barriers high. Meaning you must be able to give your work away for a LONG time to defeat them - that's called a HIGH BARRIER to entry! In case you can't be bothered to look up the definition of a monopoly that HIGH BARRIER is one of the requirements of conviction. Did I mention they were convicted and ORDERED to break up into TWO companies? Ordered to do so by the USA! Like it or not, the EU is just getting their chunk of the same pie the 20 states did FIRST.

RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Digimonkey on 6/29/2012 12:03:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand my stance. Microsoft has been guilty of shady practices, I understand that. However I think this is a EU shady practice. They let Microsoft include IE for the longest time, then decided they had an issue with it and charged them with a retroactive fine.

By JKflipflop98 on 7/3/2012 9:26:57 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, I've never read a bigger load of shit in my life.
Good show.

RE: I think I fugred it out...
By tynopik on 7/11/2012 10:43:54 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's intent DOESN'T MATTER

The actions were either legal or they weren't, whatever MS was trying to accomplish IS IRRELEVANT.

What were the actions? Bundling a browser 'free' with the operating system.

You know, THE SAME THING EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD DOES. Hell, you can't even buy a phone without a browser bundled. People expect computing devices to come with a browser, and if it didn't, they would return it as defective.

RE: I think I fugred it out...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 6/29/2012 6:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
If you call me a liberal those be fighting words Rec :) While I hate that the EU is capitalizing on this, the reason they're after them is just. We already convicted them ourselves (rightfully so - they did come damn close to making IE/Media player defacto - and still trying - Bing/Silverlight too - using IE to do most of it...LOL).

I'd shout loudly from the rooftops that we should burn all liberals if I thought it would do any good. :) OK, we should at least thrown them all together on some island so they can try to fund their own crap. My taxes should just go to pot holes etc :) The govt needs to get it's foot out of my arse and keeps it's hands off my money. Obama needs to go to jail with Holder (he lied to congress under oath...). Last time I checked lying under oath (worse as the head of DOJ!) was a FELONY. Obstruction of Justice at this level is the same. Obama has tied himself to a felon that got an agent killed (and who knows how many mexicans have died).

No liberal crap here :) But MS needs to go down with Apple and Intel. Understand I don't really want them out of business, just broken up so they're unable to leverage their ecosystems (OS, appstore, billions to ban products, buying up all the supply of memory just to keep others from getting a product out etc..whatever they use to club companies with). I'm not anti-corp (lower taxes you stupid dems - it creates JOBS! and keeps them from leaving for 0 tax elsewhere). We have no nvidia chipsets thanks to Intel. Intel made Asus sell me an AMD board in a WHITE box...No Asus label at all anywhere on the board for fear of Intel. I bought dozens of white no label boards and sold them as asus for months...LOL. Everyone knew what they were, it was clear from the design etc. But to get an AMD board then from ASUS you had to accept a NO LABEL motherboard in a white box. Thankfully AMD was kicking Intel's A$$ at the time so selling them was easy and even requested by customers. "You got that white box Asus in yet?"...ROFLMAO. I watched BEOS die because of Microsoft. That OS rocked! Back then it could play videos on all sides of a spinning cube at once. That was cool. Winblows couldn't touch that back then. Gobe Productive was a pretty good Office competitor until MS crushed it and Beos. That was one TIGHTLY written OS! No bloat just performance. I still have a copy of both I think. It was freaky fast and powerful on even crappy hardware. We got windows instead which had trouble with ONE video at the time. I was a reseller, but sadly it didn't last long. They couldn't bleed money :) They were awesome people too. I think they only had a dozen people coding it to completion. Amazing.
Read those comments! Microsoft killed probably one of the best OS' ever written!

RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 6/29/2012 5:28:22 AM , Rating: 2
You might want to have a conversation with Marc Andreessen if he thinks the fines were fair since his company got trashed by the bundling. They're not making it up as they go, they should have done this a LONG time ago. WE DID. :) And it was 20 MEMBER STATES that did it in the USA. So yeah, I'm thinking I can answer that for you. They'd act the same, since the USA already convicted them of being a monopoly:
"Judge Jackson issued his findings of fact[13] on November 5, 1999, which stated that Microsoft's dominance of the x86 based personal computer operating systems market constituted a monopoly, and that Microsoft had taken actions to crush threats to that monopoly, including Apple, Java, Netscape, Lotus Notes, Real Networks, Linux, and others. Judgment was split in two parts. On April 3, 2000, he issued his conclusions of law, according to which Microsoft had committed monopolization, attempted monopolization, and tying in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Microsoft immediately appealed the decision.[14]"

NUFF SAID? To answer reclaimer - It was the SHERMAN ACT sections 1 & 2! Are we done defending MS yet guys? Digimonkey had a point, but I'd say they were absolutely fricken SMART. 16bil last year, and a 2bil fine. Who freaking cares. That's on top of all the damage and ill gotten gains from whacking netscape etc (one of my favorite companies at the time - I LOVED that browser). SCREW MS, Apple etc. They kill great companies and destroy great innovators. Fortunately Marc has a great mind and ended up successful despite MS. But that doesn't usually happen, as most are just destroyed by crap like this.

MS should be punished more and broken up per Judge Penfield's verdict in the good 'ole USA! If we just ENFORCED the law we'd find there is NO need for new ones that strip us all of our rights (patriot act etc...BS! Odramacare BS!). My care just went down the toilet, as no company will pay for insurance when the fine is cheaper (if they don't just ignore it). Good business (and the dreaded bottom line) says they'll axe my insurance in seconds. Only the senators get to choose from 8-10 docs...Where's the guy that goes postal when you need him? ;) Why aren't they using this system too? Oh, it sucks, and they're better than us lowly peons. My bad, I forgot. You can hate a company for doing it, but it's just good smart business. You can thank Obama :) TWO TRILLION - for this unfunded crapcare. Oh, and it's NOT a tax...HONEST...ROFL. But the court just ruled it a TAX! Umm...White lie dems? Didn't Odrama say my taxes wouldn't go up a SINGLE DIME if this crap passed and I made under 250,000?
Obama and Clinton pledge...LOL.
Axelrod...rofl. Uhh..umm...uhh..the uh...lines in Enforce the law, no need for new ones. This is unconstitutional. I'll be fined for having no insurance $780 or so. You're complaining about RETROACTIVE FINES? How about complaining about being fined so some illegal can get free medical. I won't pay for medical when the fine is less...LOL. I won't pay the fine because I don't have to :) But you still have to cover me. Thanks for the handout. See the problem? My insurance costs $4000 a year but the fine is ~$800...LOL. I'll take the $3200 profit right after my insurance gets cancelled by my employer (they're not dumb either).

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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