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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 Solandri on 6/28/2012 5:37:15 PM , Rating: 4
The fine wasn't for bundling a free browser with their OS. The fine was for abusing their monopoly position to stifle competition in the browser market by bundling a free browser with their OS.

After IE successfully vanquished Netscape and hit 90% market share, there was a 13 or 14 month period when no new features were added to IE. The only updates Microsoft released were security updates. That is, once they'd eliminated the competition and they controlled the market, Microsoft ceased putting money into improving the product.

It was this hiatus which allowed Firefox to get its foot in the door. One could argue that that was the just punishment Microsoft deserved for ceasing development. But I would argue that the hiatus never should have happened in the first place. If Microsoft had been prevented from eliminating the competition, competition would have insured continual investment into browser development, and browser technology would be 13-14 months ahead of where it is today.

Basically, the browsers you and I are using today are a little over a year behind in technology because of what Microsoft did. That's why they're being fined.

RE: I think I fugred it out...
By TheJian on 7/1/2012 7:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
Spoken like someone who actually read some crap before coming here to post! :)

I couldn't have said it better myself...(not for lack of effort though...ROFLMAO). Very nice Solandri.

I cringed today as i saw the about face Judge Koh did as she's right back to being apples lapdog (didn't she just say she wouldn't be apples B*tch?). Where's POSNER when you need him with that $1 verdict? Step on KOH then apple.. ;) Does anyone do their job these days? Patent office, Judges, senate, etc...All useless bought lapdogs (Posner being the only exception it seems). SCOTUS just passed a TAX that congress hasn't even voted on (not as a tax, they said it was NOT a tax, but judges just passed it as one - aren't they supposed to know the law?). I digress...

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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