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EU Court Upholds Microsoft Antitrust Fines

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the chump-change dept.

EU 126

a_n_d_e_r_s writes "The ongoing saga of Microsoft's misuse of their dominant position in the EU marketplace to block competitors may be finally over, with the fine set to 860 million euros (just over 1 billion dollars). In 2004 Microsoft was ordered to provide certain information to competitors but failed to do so and was given an hefty fine. Now the EU General Court in Luxembourg has upheld the EU Commission decision and ruled against Microsoft." This is a minor reduction (4.3%) of the original fine because of a minor technicality. Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the result.

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EU bailout (2, Funny)

pointyhat (2649443) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466015)

So Microsoft are running the EU bailout now?

Re:EU bailout (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466031)

Sadly the amount of money the EU is p*ssing away/conjuring into existance at the moment would bankrupt Microsoft, Apple, IBM and Google combined.

**Sigh**

Re:EU bailout (-1, Flamebait)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466417)

Sadly the amount of money the EU is p*ssing away/conjuring into existance at the moment would bankrupt Microsoft, Apple, IBM and Google combined.

**Sigh**

Hey, that made me think of something...maybe Microsoft should pay in their worthless ass currency, the Euro. It's funny until you realize, I think the fine is in Euros rofl. Perhaps this is a conspiracy to drive up the cost of the Euro. MS holds primarily USD so if they had to convert a bunch to Euros, it would drive the price up. Yeah, the lawsuit started before the Euro was in trouble but still, I'm sure the recent problems didn't help the case be operated any less crookedly.

Re:EU bailout (2)

egamma (572162) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466479)

Hey, that made me think of something...maybe Microsoft should pay in their worthless ass currency, the Euro. It's funny until you realize, I think the fine is in Euros rofl. Perhaps this is a conspiracy to drive up the cost of the Euro. MS holds primarily USD so if they had to convert a bunch to Euros, it would drive the price up. Yeah, the lawsuit started before the Euro was in trouble but still, I'm sure the recent problems didn't help the case be operated any less crookedly.

What make you think that Microsoft doesn't have 860 million Euros already? They take payments in Europe. If I were them I would have been revenue from European operations into a bank account for years. All they have to due is write the check.

Re:EU bailout (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466511)

Yeah, how horrible of a European court to exact a fine in European currency. This is almost on par with Iran allowing trading oil in other currencies than US dollars!

Re:EU bailout (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466577)

The thing is that the EU courts do nothing domestically, but boy, when they see a US company, it is no holds barred. On one hand, the EU is toothless to do anything about privacy laws, on the other hand, the only time they do any action whatsoever against a company is when it is a US one.

Gotta love the hypocrisy.

Re:EU bailout (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466787)

Rubbish.

Microsoft has been a predatory ruthless monopolist in all jurisdictions they trade in.

If it wasn't for lobbying/bribes, they'd have been prosecuted in just about every country in the world.

They got away with it in the US. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40467939)

They were charged guilty by the highest court in the US... and nothing.

Microsoft just complained that it was hard to comply and dragged their feet. The US did nothing. No fine, no nothing, until it reached stature of limitation. Then Microsoft, a convicted criminal, got off the hook without even a slap on the wrist.

In that aspect, The EU was much smarter. They gave Microsoft time to fix their stuff, and when that time expired, without Microsoft doing anything, they started fining 1 000 000 euro for every additional day of non-compliance. That is where the 980 000 000 euro fine is coming from.

Microsoft is not the only case like this.

Re:EU bailout (1, Troll)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40468751)

Oh please, insightful? For a "MSFT burns babies ZOMFG!" post? They are an old guard monopoly that got passed by, no different than IBM and like IBM they'll have their niche that just like big iron won't be the big deal anymore.

If you think anybody gives a flying shit about desktops i have some magic beans you might be interested in. PCs passed good enough and went into insanely overpowered half a decade ago and nobody replaces them until they die. Ask any retailer (like say me) and we'll tell you desktops are as dead as disco, other than gamers and office workers they don't get replaced until they croak which is why many of us have branched out into other services, in my case HTPCs and setting up home theaters.

But bitching about MSFT and desktops is like bitching IBM has a monopoly on big iron...so fucking what? Who cares? Everyone is portable now, its all cell phones and tablets which is why MSFT is gonna let Sinofsky take a giant dump on the desktop in a Hail Mary pass on a market that doesn't give a wet fart nor care about MSFT. Apple owns the high end, Android everything else, MSFT doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting even 15% so who cares?

Seriously get over it already, it ain't 1998 and gates isn't stomping Linux anymore, in fact MSFT has been selling SUSE licenses with their server products for years now. its over, its done, the fat lady is down the street having a ham on rye, if the EU wants some bailout money that is their business but nobody really gives a shit about desktops as everyone has 3 and won't be replacing until they kick the bucket. there is simply no growth in that market and crying because MSFT has control of a flatline market is just fucking dumb.

Re:EU bailout (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 2 years ago | (#40468943)

Actually, the EU has a history going after foreign companies in order to promote/protect EU companies. Read up the the wine wars. The EU was downplaying US and Australian wines to promote European wines. Even after the EU wine judges were picking the US and Australian wines as the better wines. Now if the US was to do something similar, the EU would be suing the US.

Re:EU bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40469157)

Yes, this all makes sense! They're doing this because they want to protect all those European companies that produce operating systems and office suites...

Re:EU bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466873)

Bullshit.

Re:EU bailout (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466893)

Try looking at ongoing cartel and anti-trust cases inthe Commission's official case database [europa.eu] .
Of course, DSD, Europay, Scandlines Sverige, Ã-sterreichische Banken and similar companies are all as genuinely American as one can be.

Re:EU bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40467087)

Thanks for the link. The ironic thing is that if one of us wants to see info like that in the US, it would require a bar membership, or paying Lexis/Nexus a heavy chunk of change.

Re:EU bailout (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466911)

The thing is that the EU courts do nothing domestically, but boy, when they see a US company, it is no holds barred

Bullshit. The largest antitrust fine to date [nabarro.com] : €992M, on a cartel of lift makers within the EU. The difference is that the myopic US press doesn't bother covering anything other than fines on US companies, so you don't hear about them.

Re:EU bailout (3, Informative)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467139)

The largest antitrust fine to date [nabarro.com]: €992M, on a cartel of lift makers within the EU.

Bullshit. The largest antitrust fine to date [nytimes.com] : €1.06B, was on Intel, for abusing its dominance in the computer chip market.

Re:EU bailout (2)

buglista (1967502) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467161)

ARGH! We get this blatant lie every FUCKING time this subject comes up. Would it kill you to google? Because you're very, very wrong.

Rubbish (2)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467197)

There are plenty of EU antitrust rulings against EU (and other non-US) companies, your ignorance of them probably shows your bias, not theirs.
Astra Zeneca (a UK company) are up for 50 million euros.
Telefonica (Spanish) are up for 150 million euros.
Examples are not hard to find....

Re:EU bailout (4, Informative)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466553)

How does that work when the Euro is currently worth 25% more than the US Dollar?

Re:EU bailout (2)

Immerman (2627577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466751)

It used to be worth 60% more than the US Dollar was, and that was before the value of the Dollar tanked.

Re:EU bailout (3, Informative)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466945)

60% is the all-time high for EUR/USD. Chart here [yahoo.com] . The euro is currently worth about as much relative to the dollar as it was in 2004, which is more than at any time prior to 2004.

Re:EU bailout (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466981)

It never was. The highest ever recorded rate was on Jul 7 2008, when the dollar was at a low of 1.5893 per euro. The dollar dropped below 1:1.50 again in Oct and Nov 2010 for a short period.

Re:EU bailout (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467339)

Well, it used to be roughly 1:1 when the Euro came into existence. Before 9/11 and shortly after it was even up to about 0.7:1 in the other direction.

It's true that the EUR:USD rate used to be 0.67:1 for a while before 2008, though, but I guess we're more looking at an attempt to get "down" to the dollar to spur exports. The times before the "crisis" (funny, though, how I can't really see anything remotely close to a crisis in my country...) were actually very bad for our exports due to a very, very highly valued Euro. We're approaching a level that's more sensible now.

Re:EU bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466903)

Um, I share your feelings towards the GP, but comparing the raw numbers of currencies is totally meaningless.

Maybe you think the Japanese Yen is junk because you can buy 80 of them for 1 USD. And you can get $3.5 USD for a single Kuwait Dinar, so the Kuwait Dinar must be the strongest currency in the world.

From wikipedia (yeah, I know, I couldn't be bothered writing the obvious succinctly):

A high-valued currency is distinct from a hard currency, which is a currency with a good buying power and which is widely accepted as a reliable store of value. For example, a Kuwaiti dinar is not of very much use outside Kuwait, and is bound to the economy of that country. It is in fact pegged to a basket of hard currencies. In contrast, the Japanese yen is considered a hard currency even though the nominal rate of the dinar is more than 280 times that of the yen.

Re:EU bailout (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467393)

While true, the more interesting part is how currencies develop towards each other. A "strong" currency will become more valuable to another one over time, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Quite frankly, the European central bank was pretty much forced to crank up the printing presses because the US did. Funny as it may sound at first, the very last thing you want is an overly strong currency. Sure, you can easily buy anything you want on the international market because your denaros buy a lot of crap per unit. At the same time, though, exporting becomes harder. Because your wages don't get cheaper, but your goods become more expensive to someone outside your currency area.

Re:EU bailout (1)

Jesus_C_of_Nazareth (2629713) | more than 2 years ago | (#40468855)

I think the mods missed your humour tags.

Re:EU bailout (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466443)

Sadly the amount of money the EU is p*ssing away/conjuring into existance at the moment would bankrupt Microsoft, Apple, IBM and Google combined.

**Sigh**

it would bankrupt africa too but those niggers nevr could run a nation anyway so that means nothing.

Re:EU bailout (1)

yacc143 (975862) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467315)

Well, it's still nothing compared to the US conjuration program, e.g. I think the Feds call it Quantitative Easing, right?

Re:EU bailout (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466043)

No, Germany is.

Re:EU bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466079)

Whoosh...

Re:EU bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466119)

Currently there's a discussion among German politicians whether a referendum should be held that asks Germans how much EU they really want.

Re:EU bailout (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466209)

Same is happening in other EU countries, except the question is how much Germany they want.

Re:EU bailout (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466263)

By that you mean how big a loan they want to take out?

Why should the Germans be paying your bills?

Re:EU bailout (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466657)

Perhaps because they deliberately enlarged the EU through letting in countries that they *knew* could not meet the conditions as it suited Germany to have a larger market for their goods (and therefore their economy). Germany then was the first country to throw away the rules when *they* could not stick to them as a result of the cost of re-unification.
To summarise. Germany benefitted from the previous situation despite the risks. Now they get to pay the bill.

Re:EU bailout (4, Informative)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466763)

Not really. Germany had not much say back then about the EU. France pressed Germany to let everybody and their dog in as a condition for the reunification.

Re:EU bailout (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40468325)

1. The French and the rest pushed to let in the unqualified.
2. the Russians should have born some of the cost of reunification, or maybe the rest of the EU should have chipped in.

Either way Germany forced no one to join, and now those same nations want loans and bailouts.

Re:EU bailout (-1, Flamebait)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466313)

Currently there's a discussion among German politicians whether a referendum should be held that asks Germans how much EU they really want.

Its a shame they didn't have one in 1935 too.

Re:EU bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466069)

This is the end a legal process that started long before (eight years) the economic trouble that Europe is now faced with.

Re:EU bailout (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466085)

No because they haven't actually paid any of the fines. Why should they? Apparently there are no consequences to having a judgement against you and you can just not pay for as long as you like while continuing to do "business as usual" after some minor changes to the software bundle. You could say they are contributing to the European financial crisis though.

Re:EU bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466255)

No repercussions?
If they dont pay up, they can be barred from trading in Europe, have their subsidiaries assets seized and the companies wound up.
That will surely get their attention, and the courts takes no prisoners in these cases.

Re:EU bailout (-1, Troll)

pointyhat (2649443) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466725)

Microsoft actually pay a lot of people's bills indirectly, mine included. The EU can actually fuck off if they want to put a lot of companies out of business both in the retail and consultancy markets. "Sorry we can't service your business any more - Microsoft aren't allowed to sell us another SQL Server CPU license so your cluster will have to pack up when the CPU pegs". Also: "Sorry we only sell Apple in this shop - we're no longer allowed to sell Windows PCs" If that happens, I'm going to Brussels with a LART.

Re:EU bailout (1)

Jesus_C_of_Nazareth (2629713) | more than 2 years ago | (#40468985)

You forgot to mention that Microsoft will be legally obliged to smash your windows. If you're going to pull non sequiturs out of thin air them at least go all of the way. I sometimes wonder why I ever bothered coming down there?

Re:EU bailout (0)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466757)

If they dont pay up, they can be barred from trading in Europe

Yeah, good luck switching to Linux, Europe. Or maybe you could go Apple. They would CERTAINLY never abuse their monopoly over you.

Re:EU bailout (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 2 years ago | (#40469099)

Does Apple have a real server anymore? I see a single CPU (up to 12 cores) or the mini server. Most people I know would call either machine a big server. Eight memory slots is not a lot. For a workstation is it fine (the apple Mac Pro). When we have people requiring 500GB of RAM and 48 cores minimum (usually they go a lot higher on the server ordered), Apple is lacking.

Re:EU bailout (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467439)

Uhhuh! Let's ponder this for a moment and then have a good laugh.

The logical consequence is that MS doesn't sell software in Europe anymore. Now, please name one at least halfway sizable company that can get around MS, be it because of OS or Office package. Sad as it may be, we're entirely dependent on that crap.

And MS knows that damn well, and they know the EU will not put the hammer down in this case.

Re:EU bailout (1)

ebuck (585470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467689)

Uhhuh! Let's ponder this for a moment and then have a good laugh.

The logical consequence is that MS doesn't sell software in Europe anymore. Now, please name one at least halfway sizable company that can get around MS, be it because of OS or Office package. Sad as it may be, we're entirely dependent on that crap.

And MS knows that damn well, and they know the EU will not put the hammer down in this case.

Actually, out of all the applications you could have picked to make this argument sound, you picked the worst set of applications to support your point.

Operating Systems and Office packages are flooded markets with alternatives, and the alternatives are good enough that nobody has notice I haven't been using MS Word or MS Excel for the past eight years.

The real sticking points is the "business applications" which are cobbled together bits of code that generally aren't well maintained. Since they aren't well maintained, you have to put together a team to discover what the application really does, and then port it to a non-Microsoft library stack. Java had some good inroads with their JEE effort; however, they kept trying to improve (make the perfect framework) to the point that now people percieve JEE as an uncoordinated effort with a lot of false starts.

Re:EU bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40469189)

The logical consequence is that MS doesn't sell software in Europe anymore.

Oh god, not this *again*. Someone *always* comes out with this.

This is (fairly) small change to MS.
MS *will* pay when it has exhausted the appeals process.
MS does *not* have an option to stop sales in the EU. Its shareholders would sue, successfully.
The only time MS could justify not selling in the EU would be if it could show to its shareholders that this would cost more than complying with the law. This is not and has never been the case.

A private company may be able to stomp off in a huff from its second biggest market; a publicly traded company *does not have that option*.

Re:EU bailout (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40468105)

8 years and the fine is still not paid. Reality is not correlating well with your idea of how the courts are "supposed" to work. Yeah on paper it can be very nasty. In reality it has cost Microsoft what - a small legal team to file endless appeals? A couple million? Please, that's on the balance sheet under "Misc." and not even the bulk of that category.

Re:EU bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466423)

Also, MS will, as usually, "pay" the fines in the form of software "licenses" for schools.

You know... like the crack dealer that is "convicted" to give free imaginary crack to school children. (Not even real one, when one would have to do fuckin' work for...)

Re:EU bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466215)

Nah. Microsoft is just timing the appeals so that the Euro is at its lowest [google.com] . This way they'll save up to 20% off the fines. Microsoft might want to wait a few more months to pay it off. If Greece, Italy, and Spain go insolvent, they might be able to pay it off with spare change.

Re:EU bailout (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466491)

Nice selective statistics there. Now move the left limit of the graph all the way to the left, and look again.

"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the result" (4, Insightful)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466055)

Not sure about that. Since 2004 they sold at least a billion pricey products ; that makes a pretty juicy ROI.

Re:"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the resu (2, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466073)

Mod parent up. It's a couple of month's profit for Microsoft. Spread it over eight years and it's not a bad investment.

Re:"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the resu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40468243)

Actually, if MSFT was smart, it will cost them nothing. As soon as they knew there was a risk that they could be fined, move $4-5 billion to a high interest bank account, say 3% per year over 8 years. They would be able to pay the fines on the interest earned alone.

Re:"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the resu (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40468749)

Because banks never go broke, right?

Completely riskless, never in all of history has a depositor lost their money

Re:"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the resu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40468891)

Not in america, apparently, and if they do they just get a bailout.

Re:"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the resu (4, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466559)

Microsoft has to report that they're unhappy with the result. They have to whine and complain. If they didn't, it wouldn't be seen as sufficient punishment.

Re:"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the resu (4, Insightful)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466579)

Microsoft's competitors and consumers aren't too happy with the result either. I'm sure they would have preferred that MS not have engaged in such practices in the first place.

Re:"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the resu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40467133)

The practice of what?

Daring to include a browser in their OS? THOSE BASTARDS.

Or not sharing enough details about their software to their competitors? THOSE BASTARDS.

People around here like to paint MS as some great evil, but honestly I just don't see it. All I see is a company that gets penalized for acting like everybody else.

Re:"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the resu (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467229)

That is called "abuse of dominant position". I'm sorry these laws are inconvenient, but I thought it was fairly well admitted that monopolies are a bad thing for the economy, or is that another common sense economic notion that is now labelled "socialo-communist" ?

Re:"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the resu (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467709)

You fucking freedom hating commie! You shouldn't be allowed to post such things! There should be some congressional committee to subpoena you or something.

Re:"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the resu (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467817)

Subpoena ? That's sooo 2001 ! Just label me soft-terrorist, extradite me to US and send me directly to Guantanamo ! I always wanted to meet Assange anyway...

Re:"Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the resu (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40468293)

According to the Sherman Antitrust Act monopolies are not bad. In fact we have several of them (post office, amtrak, the electric company). Monopolies are only bad when they abuse their power, as defined by the act.

As for "economic notions", in a truly free market no monopoly lasts forever because new competitors rise-up and take it away. I think we're witnessing that now, as Microsoft has lost its 90s and early 2000s monopoly over browers and OSes. They have to share the spotlight with Mozilla, Google, and Apple.

Microsoft is proving EU with a bailout (-1)

Igot1forya (2609733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466103)

Wow, that is a chunk of change - the EU could really use the money right now too (conspiracy ???). This could pay for the bailouts being debated right now throughout the EU.

Re:Microsoft is proving EU with a bailout (4, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466125)

The verdict was handed down in 2004. It's the appeal where Microsoft managed to reduce the fine by about 30 Mio €.

Re:Microsoft is proving EU with a bailout (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466163)

Inflation will have reduced the fine by a lot more in 8 years.

Re:Microsoft is proving EU with a bailout (2)

Mabhatter (126906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467763)

If this was a speeding ticket it would have at least 100% in fees and interest added. Microsoft made money on the appeal, more in just interest than the lawyers got paid.

That said the EU could do some REAL HARM if they string armed the money in the next 30 days. That would upset the decision makers enough to bungle all the Win8 launches.

Re:Microsoft is proving EU with a bailout (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466193)

This is indeed a conspiracy. The EU knew about the impending financial crisis in 2004 and decided that instead of averting it with that knowledge they would fine MS to raise a small amount of cash that won't help very much.

Re:Microsoft is proving EU with a bailout (3, Insightful)

rssc (898025) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466311)

Wow, that is a chunk of change - the EU could really use the money right now too (conspiracy ???). This could pay for the bailouts being debated right now throughout the EU.

The fine is 860 million euros. The Spanish banks are getting up to 100 billion euros. [bbc.co.uk] The Irish got some 60 billion euros, Greece has gotten several hundred billions so far. These 860 million euros are chump change in comparison.

Re:Microsoft is proving EU with a bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466621)

Wow, that is a chunk of change - the EU could really use the money right now too (conspiracy ???). This could pay for the bailouts being debated right now throughout the EU.

You really don't have any idea what the fuck you are talking about.

I have every confidence that... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466201)

...here in the United Kingdom both central and local government will consider this ruling and act in the manner which they consider appropriate;
  So they will make absolutely no effort consider alternative suppliers and reward Microsoft with more lucrative contracts for software and services.

Go after Apple! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466213)

I think they should go after Apple!
Apple are the worst offenders and is the most anti-competitive company in the industry, they're worse than Microsoft.

Re:Go after Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466547)

Really?
Are you literally 'forced' into buying MicroSoft Software when buying a new PC in the mainstream dealers? Can you buy a PC/Laptop (without going through a large number of hoops) from the likes of Dell, HP etc without Windows? Do you have a choice?

Apple represent approx 10% of the PC market. That is not way a monopoly or can be construed as being anti-competitive.

MS will be in for more trouble if they stop no MS Software from running on hardware that is produced by other makers when Windows 8 comes out. Apple don't stop you from installing Windows or Linux on their Hardware. Infact they even go so far as suppliying drivers for thier hardware when you install Windows. Please explain in great detail for the rest of us how this can be construed as anticompetitive?

Just wait for windows on ARM. Then you will see what truly restrictive licensing really is. I fully expect MS to try to stop people rooting their ARM devices (especially Surface) and use not only the DMCA (in the US) but any law that they think can work to keep their monopoly intact.
I would be very pleased if they just shrugged their shoulders and said nothing if people rooted their ARM with Windows device.

Re:Go after Apple! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466735)

Really?
Are you literally 'forced' into buying MicroSoft Software when buying a new PC in the mainstream dealers? Can you buy a PC/Laptop (without going through a large number of hoops) from the likes of Dell, HP etc without Windows? Do you have a choice?

Yes you have a choice. Dell has sold Ubuntu laptops. Hp has sold WebOs. I believe that both have made Android devices... and ChromeOS devices. If you don't want a Windows device you can buy one of those.

Furthermore, there are lots of other companies you didn't list. Why not buy a Linux PC from System76. Do as Richard Stallman does and buy a Lemote.

Windows never had a monopoly because there have always been alternatives. The fact is that there is no public demand for alternatives aside from Apple. That's more due to the failings of Linux and others than it is about monopolistic practices.

Re:Go after Apple! (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467375)

Yes you have a choice. Dell has sold Ubuntu laptops. Hp has sold WebOs. I believe that both have made Android devices... and ChromeOS devices. If you don't want a Windows device you can buy one of those.

My Dell desktop machine here is a n-series, which means it didn't come with any OS at all[*].

There is no way to buy an Apple without Apple's OS, on the other hand. Nor a way to buy third party compatibles.

As for monopoly, Apple's marketshare in several business segments is large enough to be affected by anti-monopoly legislation. They're not above the law of the countries they decide to sell in.

[*]: It came with a FreeDOS CD because the law prohibits OS vendors from penalizing someone for selling a competitor's product, and lawyers (ptui!) argued that no OS isn't a competitor's product, so they could freely penalize Dell and others for selling machines with no OS. Of course it's a competitor's product, it's just that the competitor is unspecified and left up to the user. Of course, no one expects the buyers to ever install FreeDOS.

Re:Go after Apple! (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466813)

Apple represent approx 10% of the PC market.

How much of the tablet and phone market do they represent?

MS will be in for more trouble if they stop no MS Software from running on hardware that is produced by other makers when Windows 8 comes out. Apple don't stop you from installing Windows or Linux on their Hardware.

I have no idea what that first sentence even means. But MS has never stopped you from installing anything you want in Windows, either. And no PC maker has ever stopped anyone from installing an alternate OS. The only company that does this is Apple--which stopped you from installing an alternate OS before bootcamp, stops you from installing OS X on anything other than Apple hardware, and stops you from installing non-App-Store software on any iOS device.

Jesus effing christ. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40467199)

Do you really think you know more about what "monopoly" and "monopoly abuse" is than the bloody courts?!?!?

Re:Go after Apple! (3, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467217)

Apple are the worst offenders and is the most anti-competitive company in the industry, they're worse than Microsoft.

Totally!!

Well, except for the fact that they have nothing approaching a monopoly in any industry in which they operate and consumers have the easy choice to go with alternatives should they dislike Apple's offerings whereas Microsoft had ~95% of the desktop market at the time the anti-trust cases occurred (and still have ~90% of the market).

Other than that, you're right - totally worse than Microsoft. ...

secure boot uefi (1, Troll)

codegen (103601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466353)

Now they need to go after them for secure boot UEFI

Re:secure boot uefi (3, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466421)

And when the legal proceeding complete in about 2026, once Microsoft have successfully used Secure Boot to destroy all potential competition in the desktop space and profited by many tens of billions of euros, they can get another billion-euro fine for it.

Re:secure boot uefi (4, Interesting)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467307)

UEFI isn't a Microsoft technology, but feel free to try and prove that an open consortium has a monopoly and abused it somehow.

Re:secure boot uefi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40467559)

Although UEFI might not be a Microsoft technology, it has their "fingerprints" all over it. I'll bet that Microsoft funded its development "under the table" so they don't the direct blame.

Re:secure boot uefi (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40468603)

UEFI is full of Wintel-isms, and Microsoft is right along Intel at the top of the stack in terms of people making design decisions with respect to how UEFI functions. Microsoft has shown it is willing to abuse its position (or the positions of others) in consortiums and standards bodies to get their way (see the OOXML debacle.)

I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest to find out that they leveraged their position to muck up the key management process in UEFI explicitly so that it functions the way we currently see- a way that advantages Microsoft directly due to their position in the market.

what MS should do now (-1)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466431)

Since this lawsuit was like 50% legit 50% bullshit, I would definitely find it amusing if Microsoft now jacked up the price of all MS product licensing in all of Europe by like 25% to pay for the fine. Then the EU would just be shooting itself in the foot.

Re:what MS should do now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466569)

Actually, it would be MS shooting themselves in the foot, because if we assume MS is keeping price where they think they get most revenue, moving it away from this sweet spot will just lower their profits.

Re:what MS should do now (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466673)

Assuming that there genuinely were hoping to encourage competition to Microsoft products then that result would help them even more with their goal.

Re:what MS should do now (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466915)

Yes and no. Certainly a price hike would make competing products more attractive, but not everyone will abandon MS products. It would raise the overall cost of software in Europe in the areas in which Microsoft plays. If I'm a MS competitor who isn't giving away his stuff for free, and MS raises prices by 25%, my optimal price point is probably not "exactly what I'm charging right now". It's somewhere between "what I'm charging right now" and "25% more than what I'm charging right now".

It would foster competition in the same way U.S. tariffs on foreign sugar cane foster "competition" between U.S. corn-growers and foreign sugar exporters. It places a de facto tax on the consumer in order to create artificial competition where it would not normally occur.

Microsoft must open-source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40466785)

Microsoft must open-source and stop trying to lock people in with docx and other microsoft ONLY file formats...
and stop bullying households in selling home users multiple licenses, that's what we call extorting a paying customer...

it's a criminal and they must for for extorting the European consumers, this amount is small compared to the profits they sucked out of our people and our governments.
they are doing the same in your country and over 30million Americans don't have health insurance also because of these kinds of criminals...

yeah... (-1, Flamebait)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466807)

I can't help thinking that if Microsoft were based in Europe, and had behaved in the exact same fashion, it wouldn't have gone down this way.

The EU isn't like the USA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40468065)

More EU companies have been hit by antitrust than non-EU ones.

Now lets look at how Apple (USA) vs Samsung (Not)...

Good to see (3, Interesting)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466885)

Europe acting on anti-trust type of actions on big companies. I remember a time when the U.S. did that and we had decades of prosperity. Ah the good old prosperous days of the 50's and 60's with 90% top tax rate.

Re:Good to see (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467573)

Ah the good old prosperous days of the 50's and 60's with 90% top tax rate.

Yeah, shame that John Kennedy had to go and spoil that by lowering taxes, wasn't it?

Re:Good to see (3, Interesting)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467861)

Anytime a U.S. president gets shot he becomes sainted and we refuse to acknowledge the horrible things he's done. Getting shot is like automatic sainthood for a U.S. President (thank God Reagan survived his assassination attempt - imagine that moron as a martyr).

Kennedy got us involved in Vietnam. Lincoln was personally responsible for more American deaths than any person/country/army. No one (aside from history buffs) knows much about McKinley or Garfield but they have a surprising amount of buildings and whatnot named after them for do-nothing presidents.

Principle, Practicality, Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40467189)

The claim made in many of these lawsuits, especially from Neelie Kroes the European Commissioner for Competition is that Open Source/Standards is better. (From Wiki: "Kroes has stated she believes open standards and open source are preferable to anything proprietary")

Does this mean that *any* company with a significant revenue (say $1 billion or more) is required to release all their file formats under some "interoperability" thread of lawsuit from the EU, or is it just Microsoft?

I'm curious to see how many other companies in other domains have they gone after. Photoshop is dominant in their domain, so will they be sued for a closed format? ( I used them as an e.g. - I haven't checked if they actually have opened their formats recently)

Where does this money go? (2)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467213)

This is not a trivial sum. Who gets it?

Re:Where does this money go? (0, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467631)

More swill for the Euroswine. Brought to you by the trans-national entity that nobody voted for, which took 3 years of paying 21 "scientists" to first declare that water doesn't hydrate, then deny that they said it, then finally (for now) retract the statement that they denied having ever made. That sounds so bizarre that I'd invite you to do your own googling on it, since you simply wouldn't believe anything that I spoon fed you.

What info was Microsoft supposed to provide? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467357)

Can anyone point me to something indicating what information the EU feels Microsoft should have provided but did not provide? (or information competitors of Microsoft believe Microsoft should have provided but did not provide?)

The spec documents at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd208104(v=prot.10) [microsoft.com] seem to cover a lot of the things that competitors might want access to so whats missing?

Re:What info was Microsoft supposed to provide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40467959)

I haven't checked the site you linked out but perhaps maybe that site wasn't there or incomplete when they got fined in 2004.
This article is the result of the appeal by MS on those fines

I'm wondering (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467947)

When Microsoft will increase the software licensing fees for EU organizations.......

Need some new ones (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40468867)

UEFI boot comes to mind, just off the top of my head.

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