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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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Read the ruling
By Khato on 6/28/2012 1:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
Please read the actual ruling before commenting. This fine has nothing to do with Microsoft bundling fundamental applications (media player, internet browser) with their operating system. Yes, there were other actions taken against Microsoft for those infractions, but only because Microsoft did not comply with the initial antitrust rulings.

The very title of the ruling states that Microsoft was fined "for failing to allow its competitors access to interoperability information on reasonable terms". Basically, Microsoft could make superior products in adjacent markets due to inside knowledge of how the operating system works. The court found evidence proving this to be the case and ordered Microsoft to release the pertinent information to competitors so that they'd be on a level playing field. So yes, Microsoft was abusing its dominant position in the operating system market quite blatantly and most definitely does deserve this fine.




RE: Read the ruling
By stm1185 on 6/29/2012 9:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
So Microsoft is supposed to intentionally hurt their business by helping their competitor understand their products with detailed knowledge that Microsoft gained after years of software R&D?

That is some communist level stupidity.


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith














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