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Deadline Looming for Microsoft in Antitrust Case

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the pay-up dept.

Microsoft 397

gaijincory writes "The International Herald Tribune reminds us that the end of the month is Microsoft's deadline to comply with the European Commission's antitrust ruling. The fine for non-compliance? A cool $5 million per day."

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397 comments

And at that rate... (5, Interesting)

T(V)oney (736966) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620839)

... they would have a few months to figure out what they wanted to do about it.

Re:And at that rate... (4, Informative)

MisterLawyer (770687) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620887)

Actually, at that rate, Microsoft would still be able to function indefinately. (ceteris paribus, of course)

Microsoft has an average daily global sales revenue of $100 million. $5 million is about 5% of their global sales. Their profit margins far exceed 5%, therefore they could continue to pay their daily fine to the E.U. and still make a profit every day.

Also, the E.U. already fined them about $600 million in addition to the prospective daily fine. Thats the same as about four months worth of the daily $5 million fine.

Re:And at that rate... (1)

T(V)oney (736966) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620913)

I agree that they could *technically* pull it off indefinitely.... But would they really do it? Eventually, forking over more than a billion dollars per year starts to look bad for customers and investors alike.

Re:And at that rate... (4, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621159)

Actually, at that rate, Microsoft would still be able to function indefinately. (ceteris paribus, of course) Microsoft has an average daily global sales revenue of $100 million. $5 million is about 5% of their global sales. Their profit margins far exceed 5%, therefore they could continue to pay their daily fine to the E.U. and still make a profit every day.

The other thing is they could just say, "Due to unforeseen expenses, Microsoft will be increasing the cost of all products sold in the European Union by 50 cents per day."

Hell, as long as the courts have labelled you a monopoly, you might as well act like it.

Re:And at that rate... (2, Interesting)

unleashedgamers (855464) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620893)

Hey its more like they would have years to figure out what they wanted to do if its only a little less than 2 billion a year.

Bill Will Fill (1)

ishrat (235467) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620983)

Bill will surely fill the fine. By now the guy is very used to paying fines and being sued . In fact he thrives in such an environ and gets free publicity to boot.

Re:Bill Will Fill (2, Interesting)

R.D.Olivaw (826349) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621154)

The perfect solution would then be to announce that they will use the fines to finance Microsoft competitors (oss?). That would bring MS around quite quickly.
IT's not going to happen, I know. I am sure it would work well though.

Bo (Vesterdorf) Knows Fineprint... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621175)

The joke is on the EU anyway... Bill put a EULA on the check.

Re:Bill Will Fill (4, Funny)

ottawanker (597020) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621200)

.. if you consider $5 million a day free, could you please shoot some money my way? thanks.

Cost of doing business? (5, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620842)

If Microsoft is making more profit from its business practices than $5M a day, they've shown before that they'll happily pay the fine rather than change practices. Is domination of the European market worth $1.8 billion a year in fines?

Re:Cost of doing business? (5, Insightful)

eric76 (679787) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620869)

Actually, Microsoft has matured into a company that cannot afford to pay such fines for long.

The hit on Microsoft's bottom line and the failure to meet earnings projections would have adverse effects on its share price.

Re:Cost of doing business? (1)

strider44 (650833) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621107)

besides, what's to stop other companies from grabbing their share?

The EU is at a pretty powerful position here - I hope that they realise it.

Re:Cost of doing business? (1)

Velk (807487) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621124)

I would think that would depend on how expensive it will be for them to comply with the requirements. For example, if they project the cost as being 1 billion dollars, paying the $5M/day fine until they can renegotiate could seem an attractice option.

Re:Cost of doing business? (4, Insightful)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620874)

"Kroes and the 24 other commissioners would then decide whether to impose fines, which could amount to as much as 5 percent of the company's global daily sales, or $5 million, a day."

5% of global sales? They'd be fine then... not to mention the fact that that is the maximum fine. It's just like getting the maximum fine for graffiti on trains - you never get it.

Re:Cost of doing business? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620898)

" It's just like getting the maximum fine for graffiti on trains"

Your sig: "I'm an artist"

Safe bet you're speaking from personal experience?

Re:Cost of doing business? (4, Insightful)

nickco3 (220146) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621164)

It's just like getting the maximum fine for graffiti on trains - you never get it.

Not even rich and powerful graffiti artists with a history of giving the judge the finger?

Re:Cost of doing business? (2, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620883)

The fines will increase over time , i imagine the 5 million per day is just a warning anyway .
I can see that riseing if they refuse to comply .
Ofcourse if they continue to stand oposed to the law then i am very sure the EU will have no other choice but to enforce the compliance , companys can not be allowed to abuse the law .
If the EU does nothing it sets a rather dangerous precedent in allowing a company to flaunt the law , If microsoft refuses to comply after one year i can honestly see the EU making moves to break MS europe into a seperate company

Micro$oft: Master of Deception (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620888)

I utterly despise Microsoft [phrusa.org] .

To give you an idea of how deceptive Microsoft is, I direct your attention to the recent demand, by Bill Gates, that the American government raise the cap on H-1B workers. Gates claims that there is an insufficient number of Americans who are qualified for the job of "programmer".

Professor Matloff of the University of California at Davis exploded this deception. He noted that Microsoft hires only 4% of applicants. Further, of the 50 applicants from MIT last year, only 1 was offered a job to work at Microsoft.

Frankly, I do not give a damn about Microsoft. Let us unite behind Linux and the open source movement. As a matter of principle, I refuse to use Internet Explore or Windows XP.

Re:Cost of doing business? (1)

dummyname12 (886454) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620959)

I looked for the "Reply Humously" button, but I couldn't find it. Or perhaps you were just trying to be "Humorous"

Re:Cost of doing business? (1, Flamebait)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621011)

Perhaps you should read my journal. Hopefully you [don't?] die before you're able to post a reply.

Re:Cost of doing business? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621094)

WTF is "replyhumously"? That's not even a word.

Re:Cost of doing business? (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621121)

That wouldn't work. You see, the ruling was not:

"We'll give you a choise between doing this and paying 5 million a day."

The ruling was instead more along the lines of:

"You have to do this. To force you, we'll give you a fine of 5 million a day if it ain't done by $date"

The difference is that the fine is meant to be forcing them into compliance. If they ignored the fine, simply paid up and stayed out of compliance, the court would likely just add a zero on the fine and try again. Repeat as nessecary.

Re:Cost of doing business? (0)

Feztaa (633745) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621173)

Pshaw! Add some zeros? I hate to break this to you, but what are zeros? THEY'RE NOTHING!!

Add all the zeros you want ;)

Thanks, scripters. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620844)

Thanks to you, my chances of a first post have been ruined. It's already hard enough, now I have to type jzxffyd into a fucking box to troll. Thanks. Thanks a lot. ='(

They will never pay (2, Interesting)

tetrode (32267) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620846)

Or do you think they will ever pay up?

Don't be redicilous - they will find their way around it. The same as they find their way around not paying taxes, ...

Re:They will never pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620908)

The same as they find their way around not paying taxes

That's not going to be a problem. Heck, I could do that.

Re:They will never pay (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620909)

actually microsoft paid 4.028 billion in taxes in 2004.. Atleast according to their annual report... I suppose they could have all accountanted it up or something..

Re:They will never pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621044)

It's ridiculous, not rediculous. Don't make me redicule you!

Re:They will never pay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621102)

It's spelled 'ridiculous' you fucking nimwit.

Re:They will never pay (4, Funny)

rhizome (115711) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621185)

>It's spelled 'ridiculous' you fucking nimwit.

It's spelled "nitwit" you fucking dimwit.

wtf (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620849)

they probably pay their team of lawyers more than that per day.

Re:wtf (4, Interesting)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621019)

(From The Seattle Times [nwsource.com] ) "It amounts to about $3,000 per hour for one lawyer, more than $2,000 an hour each for 34 other attorneys and $1,000 an hour for administrative work."

Yes, i know that's an old article, but it would more than likely be similar. When worked out as a 8hr day (9-5), i got $65,400 - not quite $5 million a day.

Micro$oft: Master of Deception (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620853)

I utterly despise Microsoft [phrusa.org] .

To give you an idea of how deceptive Microsoft is, I direct your attention to the recent demand, by Bill Gates, that the American government raise the cap on H-1B workers. Gates claims that there is an insufficient number of Americans who are qualified for the job of "programmer".

Professor Matloff of the University of California at Davis exploded this deception. He noted that Microsoft hires only 4% of applicants. Further, of the 50 applicants from MIT last year, only 1 was offered a job to work at Microsoft.

Frankly, I do not give a damn about Microsoft. Let us unite behind Linux and the open source movement. As a matter of principle, I refuse to use Internet Explore or Windows XP.

Re:Micro$oft: Master of Deception (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620880)

I know several people from Cornell who have applied to and work at Microsoft.

I don't think that there is any shortage of talent in the U.S., but if they aren't taking people from MIT, they certainly are taking them here.

Re:Micro$oft: Master of Deception (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620928)

Just because you apply for a job doesn't mean you're qualified to do it. The number of people I've interviewed who don't even understand the simple concept of a pointer just boggles the mind...

Re:Micro$oft: Master of Deception (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620941)

Are you Indian or Chinese? You act like one.

Re:Micro$oft: Master of Deception (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620969)

Hahahahah.
As an MIT student who sees Microsoft, Google, and a number of other companies hire dozens of students each on this campus, I can only assume you pulled that number out of your ass. Microsoft goes out of its way to get people to apply, even cold-writing people at schools across the country based on articles about them in the campus papers and on the internet.

It is true, however, that Microsoft does try to hire selectively for a company with its cash. It doesn't want to get to the size of, say, IBM quite so fast. I know plenty of qualified people at MIT who have not received offers...but rest assured the really strong programmers are being recruited heavily by microsoft.

Employment Facts about Microsoft (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621075)

My advice to you folks is to avoid listening to the Indian/Chinese animal who wrote the parent article.

Here is the facts: "The Skills Shortage that Isn't [com.com] ". This article, by the reputable C|Net, does indicate that Microsoft hired only 1 of the 50 applicants from MIT.

Temporary Employment Facts about Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621148)

Speaking of people Microsoft doesn't hire...

Microsoft is still running a significant number of people around their "temporary worker" carousel. Of course, with Microsoft's policies to avoid "permatemp" issues, these workers are only availible to Microsoft about 6 months of the year. I wonder if that somehow effects the potential supply...

This the same EU? (2, Insightful)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620856)

The one that can't even get member states to vote for the body's Constitution [guardian.co.uk] ?

The EU is not a country, it is a conglomeration of countries. What is their actual power to enforce these laws? Especially seeing as how banning Microsoft on a continent-wide level would be an infringement of each country's right to self-determination.

I think that someone is going to get a huge wakeup call and I doubt it is going to be Microsoft this time.

Re:This the same EU? (5, Insightful)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620929)

Microsoft is just another company. The EU, even without its Constitution, has taken on the cosmetics and electronics industry [orlandosentinel.com] , and won. Don't forget that the EU constitutes a larger market than the US.

As for the EU's inability to get their member states to vote favorably on the Constitution, many believe this has more to do with Europeans' sentiments about their national leaders which are pushing the Constitution through.

Re:This the same EU? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620994)

As for the EU's inability to get their member states to vote favorably on the Constitution, many believe this has more to do with Europeans' sentiments about their national leaders which are pushing the Constitution through.

Have you tried reading the draft constitution? Seriously, they need to scrap it and start again. Not because it's bad but because it's barely comprehensible. You can pick bits and pieces you like or dislike and try to sell it on that but trying to sell the thing as a whole is impossible - anyone who pays attention will say "no" simply because they don't understand what they're being asked to agree to.

Read the legislation? (0)

bezuwork's friend (589226) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621152)

What the hell are you talking about? Here in the US, not reading legislation never stopped any politician from voting for it.

(See the Patriot Act.)

Re:This the same EU? (1)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620944)

Some of the countries right to self-determination has already been given up. The vote for the consitution is about changes to it (which in some cases mean that more power will be transferred to the EU from the individual countries).

In this particular case, the EU already has the power it needs to enforce these rulings.

Re:This the same EU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620971)

Some of the countries right to self-determination has already been given up.

No, it hasn't. What are you planning to do if Denmark decides to leave in 20 years time, send in tanks?

The vote for the consitution is about changes to it (which in some cases mean that more power will be transferred to the EU from the individual countries).

1. The vote for the consitution is likely to be "No".

2. The consitution would formalise procedures for countries to leave so if anything it would make the fact of self-determination even clearer.

Choosing to work together is not a lack of sdelf-determination.

In this particular case, the EU already has the power it needs to enforce these rulings.

Agreed - through power voluntarily pooled.

Re:This the same EU? (1)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621024)

No, it hasn't. What are you planning to do if Denmark decides to leave in 20 years time, send in tanks?
I said some of the rights, not the right to leave.

Why do you think that some supreme court descisions can be appealed to the european court?

1. The vote for the consitution is likely to be "No".
Elections about the constitution is a bad idea anyway. It's just a "yes" or "no" question. What does a "no" mean? That it's not going far enough? That you want to leave the EU? (in the case of Denmark, the latter is probably the case).
Agreed - through power voluntarily pooled.
True. No country was invaded and the power forcibly transferred to the EU. The countries are also in their right to leave, but as long as they are in, some of their descision-making power has been transferred to the EU.

Re:This the same EU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621088)

Okay, I guess we mean different things by self-determination. Choosing to enter into an arrangement that can later be terminated doesn't give up self-determination in any sense that I can think of.

Re:This the same EU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621179)

I am not the one you are in discussion with, but I will explain the concept as it seems obvious to me. Advantages, the principle reason for entering into the EU is primarily economic. With a given situation established provided the advantages, there is pressure to maintain those advantages for the favorable position that opposes purely nationalist motives. A different situation exemplifying the same tension of forces: the US state Texas has the right to leave the union but does not as that would only complicate matters of trade and vastly weaken its positions in all areas. The groups seeking independent Texas are mocked because the losses for leaving are as great as to make it illogical.

Re:This the same EU? (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621198)

I dont think its because we want to leave as such - more like we are a damned little country, but we like to kick up af fuss :)

Re:This the same EU? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620981)

The one that can't even get member states to vote for the body's Constitution?

If the countries couldn't say "no" then there would be zero point to the process. And you're right, the countries probably will say "no".

The EU is not a country, it is a conglomeration of countries.

Agreed. So Microsoft are pissing off a conglomeration of countries that form the largest single market in the world.

What is their actual power to enforce these laws?

The pooled sovereignty of multiple countries... remember your previous sentence?

Especially seeing as how banning Microsoft on a continent-wide level would be an infringement of each country's right to self-determination.

Don't be absurd, it would be an expression of their right to self determination just like any other multi-lateral arrangements they enter into. Not that Microsoft would get "banned", just compelled to obey by whatever means it takes including power provided by new legislation if it comes to that - playing chicken with governments on that level is just stupid.

I think that someone is going to get a huge wakeup call and I doubt it is going to be Microsoft this time.

In your dreams, sure.

Re:This the same EU? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621040)

"... playing chicken with governments on that level is just stupid"

IBM was investigated in the 70's and 80's as a monopoly. During this timeframe MS came to be and it's likely Bill Gates took alot from the proceedings. IBM basically outlasted the government, (although it lost the market share that underlay the investigation) and, at one point submitted a warehouse of unindexed hardcopy in lefthanded compliance with the courts. MS was wetnursed by Big Blue and might have the same willingness to play chicken with big government.

Re:This the same EU? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621116)

What IBM did was to play by the government's rules, and yes it in some senses beat them at that game. It did not do anything the equivalent of telling the courts that it wasn't going to bother paying a fine as the previous poster seemed to think was plausible here. Now, if you're saying that Microsoft will continue to fight this through the court process and could end up winning if only through being willing to throw enough resources at it to drag the process out then MAYBE you're right, but that's a different position to the previous one based on "what is their actual power to enforce these laws".

Re:This the same EU? (5, Informative)

kentmartin (244833) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621062)

You might want to do a little reading before spouting off. EU law supercedes the law of member states when the 2 come into conflict. The recent developments in the IR35 debacle in the UK are a fine example.

This is why, as per the article you mention above, there is a lot of dissent among member states about what the constitution is, they are agreeing to that law for themselves.

Further, my understanding is that the policies with regard to monopolies and competition have already been agreed upon, hence, the 'European competition regulator' whose existence is made possible by The Treaty Establishing The European Community, article 81 [eu.int] , at least I think it is 81. Either way, there is a list of what is already in play from that treaty with respect to fair competition here [eu.int] .

Take a glance at The EU online [eu.int] , and I would strongly suggest you do a modicum of research before spurting disinformation presented as fact.

People like you piss me off.

Re:This the same EU? (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621109)

These countries are also supposed to enforce the laws that require people to pay for Microsoft's products. Software is not a good business to be in if you owe the courts more than any possible judgement against copyright infringers, especially if people don't consider paying for your software the honest thing to do. It's not like selling steel or something where you can just not ship it to people who aren't going to pay.

Re:This the same EU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621142)

Especially seeing as how banning Microsoft on a continent-wide level would be an infringement of each country's right to self-determination.

Huh? WTF are you on about? You are aware that membership in the EU is voluntary, aren't you?

Stop Gates ! (-1, Offtopic)

fodi (452415) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620857)

Quick, someone kidnap Gates for a couple of days..

or poke him in the eye with a stick, or something

I would comply! (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620859)

I would definitively comply. Not only because I personally do not think I would be able to scrape together the daily penalty in my whole lifetime, but also because that is a significant amount even for a corporation like Microsoft.

what is to stop the EU (4, Interesting)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620862)

from increasing the fine if MS doesn't comply and just pays it out?

Re:what is to stop the EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620952)

I see what you're saying. This is just a money making scheme by the EU. Smart.

Oh, and the magic word is "rmdydpq". (Rage against the machine!)

Funny thing is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620863)

This is almost like a personal vendetta on Microsoft directly from the EU. Noone really cares about the Microsoft anti-trust case in Europe, and the Windows XP 'Reduced Media Edition' is a flop.

Why would you buy a copy of a 'crippled' XP over a full-featured one. Its not like you cant just disable the features you don't want in XP (well, for the most part).

As much as I dislike MS's previous business practises, I wish the EU would, uh, 'bugger off' and leave MS alone to correct their ways. Even the biggest Linux Zealot would need to admit they have come a long way since Windows 95 and are making improvements in terms of security, etc...

Re:Funny thing is... (4, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620918)

This is almost like a personal vendetta on Microsoft directly from the EU. Noone really cares about the Microsoft anti-trust case in Europe, and the Windows XP 'Reduced Media Edition' is a flop.

It doesn't matter if the average European citizen doesn't care about this, or haven't even heard about it. The European Commission aren't involved in a popularity contest, they are supposed to enforce EU law.

Why would you buy a copy of a 'crippled' XP over a full-featured one.

"Vote Cuthulu. This time, why settle for the lesser evil?"

Its not like you cant just disable the features you don't want in XP (well, for the most part).

It is the "most part" that is a problem. Also, they are using their OS monopoly to also gain a online media monopoly. This is illegal.

Even the biggest Linux Zealot would need to admit they have come a long way since Windows 95 and are making improvements in terms of security, etc...

This is NOT about the quality of the products, this is about predatory business practices designed to enforce an unfair monopoly and kill innovation and competition.

Re:Funny thing is... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620938)

This is almost like a personal vendetta on Microsoft directly from the EU.

Excuse me? Forcing Microsoft to comply with a court order that resulted from them losing a lawsuit because they broke the law is some kind of personal vendetta?

Just because the EU doesn't roll over and let them off like the USA, it doesn't mean they have a personal vendetta. They just make sure people pay for their crimes, even if they are rich.

I wish the EU would, uh, 'bugger off' and leave MS alone to correct their ways.

Why on earth would Microsoft do that? Does a thief stop stealing if he knows he's not going to get punished?

Even the biggest Linux Zealot would need to admit they have come a long way since Windows 95 and are making improvements in terms of security, etc...

This isn't about software quality. This is about illegal anti-competitive actions.

Re:Funny thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621050)

EU is just playing the buttmonkey for the Washington State USA firm, Real Networks, who does have a personal vendatta.

Re:Funny thing is... (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621064)

MS removed MediaPlayer just like the EU ordered. Then the EU scolded MS for not being able to play videos. Sounds like some kind of vendetta or personal predjudice to me.

Re:Funny thing is... (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621144)

You got any sources to back that assertion up? Not saying it's not true, just that that's the first I've heard of it (and I'm European).

MicroWing (4, Funny)

boisepunk (764513) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620867)

Bill: What happen?
Executive: Somebody set up us the lawsuit.
Executive: We get subpoena.
Bill: What !
Bill: Main screen turn on.
Bill: It's you!
Judge: How are you gentlemen!
Judge: All your $5 million are belong to us.
Bill: What you say!
Judge: You have no chance to win the case make your time.
Judge: HA HA HA HA

last missing lines (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620940)

Bill: Here's a $1,000,000 check for you and the jury
Judge: Ok, this antitrust case is over. Next.

Re:MicroWing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620957)

It's Funny because it's retro.

Re:MicroWing (1)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620989)

that's such a cool scenario. They should use that as the premise for an arcade game or something.

to point out the obvious. (2, Interesting)

silverkniveshotmail. (713965) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620870)

they're likely to go a little into the red of this fine, but it'd be stupid to think that they'd just go on for ever. yeah, sure, they make a lot of money, but it's not like they're going to just write it off. And even if they DID; don't you think the EU would try and do something to further encourage them?

Re:to point out the obvious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620960)

Don't think of it as a payment. Think of it as a bribe. EU gets rich, Microsoft gets richer, what's not to love?

Re:to point out the obvious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621038)

Well, RealNetworks still eats your balls.

Way too little (5, Insightful)

kernelpanicked (882802) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620875)

"If Microsoft's final offer fails to satisfy the regulator, or if the company does not make its submission in time, the commission will write a formal letter to the company, outlining its concerns."

A formal letter? When did the world officially lose all its balls.

Unfortunately $5 million a day to Microsoft doesn't really mean much. A real way to get their attention would be to tell them comply or peddle your crap OS elsewhere.

Re:Way too little (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12620970)

Unfortunately $5 million a day to Microsoft doesn't really mean much. A real way to get their attention would be to tell them comply or peddle your crap OS elsewhere.

So what you're saying is that the EU isn't a free market. Or at least wouldn't be if the EU told Microsoft to leave. I understand.

Chump change... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620881)

Let see... Five million per day divided into a fifty billion piggy bank is how much? That's what Bill Gates for picking up a nickel on the sidewalk. :P

Re:Chump change... (1)

cahiha (873942) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621049)

That's 1000 days, or about 2.7 years, until the money runs out. And that hurts even Bill Gates a bit more than losing 1000x$0.05 = $50 hurts a normal person.

Re:Chump change... (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621051)

Five million per day divided into a fifty billion piggy bank is how much?

I get 27 years. But they probably will be able to cover this with earnings, so it could go on indefinitely.

Re:Chump change... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621103)

But they probably will be able to cover this with earnings, so it could go on indefinitely.

I heard a story a long time ago that it might not be true. A court ruled against this rich guy that he had to pay $1000 a day until he gives into the court's demands. He wrote a check for six months right then and there, and was willing to keep on going until the court backed off during the appeals process. I'm not sure how it turned out -- if it was true. Apparently, you can fleece a rich man only so much.

expect to see... (4, Insightful)

imess (805488) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620897)

7 more reminders on slashdot's frontpage

Re:expect to see... (2, Insightful)

xiando (770382) | more than 7 years ago | (#12620907)

And they will need it. They did get informed March 2004, so they had More Than A Year already to comply. Perhaps they forgot about it, perhaps $5/day isn't enough to get their attention on it's own?

Re:expect to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621053)

Who could blame them about forgetting to comply, especially when they are only going to be paying $1825 a year.

Re:expect to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621073)

Perhaps they forgot about it, perhaps $5/day isn't enough to get their attention on it's own?

Hell, I'm sure I'd be cowering at that hefty amount.

So Bill Gates will be limited to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621033)

...wiping his ass with fifties instead of hundreds until this thing blows over. Big deal.

Most likely payment method... (5, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621076)

would be in the form of free copies of WinXP and Office XP to schools in Europe. And a dinner with Blair while making the announcement, perhaps? -

$5 million isn't much, considering... (0, Redundant)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621139)

the last time I checked, MS has something like $40 billion in cash. So, divide 40 billion by 5 million and you get 21.9 YEARS before they run out of whatever they've got stashed under the mattress.

The money isn't going to hurt these people - it's the bad publicity.

Of course, MS dittoheads, lackies and lusers might kick up such a fuss, that if MS holds out, they might spin it into "Those Mean Old Europeans are Picking in a Good American Corporation" and after a few years, the Europeans might just give up.

Also. once the judgement is passed, it's not like they're going to get busted again - they're already in the doghouse of international opinion.

My guess is they will find some kind of settlement, and brush it under the carpet. With the kind of Social Amnesia that your average idiot American suffers under, it'll all be forgotten in six months, like Iraqi WMD, and Japanese Internment Camps...

RS

Compliance (3, Insightful)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 7 years ago | (#12621193)

They'll comply for two reasons.

First, and foremost, as a previous post said, they simply cant afford a 5 mil $ a day hit to the bottom line. I doubt they make 5 million+ a day in europe, and even if they did, not enough of it would be from their practices that they're being asked to stop.

Second, and almost equally important is a show of good faith that the EU wants to see from them. If they were to not comply, and/or perhaps refuse to pay the fine (extremely unlikely) that would end up with a lot of powerful people angry at them pretty quickly. My guess is that the US state department would lean on MSFT to cooperate w/ the EU. The U.S. simply cant afford to have one of it's premier companies acting in bad faith, as it would reflect poorly on Americans (whether that should be the case is another argument, but the fact is that many foriegners view America in part through it's major corporations, i.e. MSFT, McDonalds, CocaCola, etc)

From a buisness perspective, I expect them to have whatever needs to be done done by the deadline, or very close to it.

On the curiosity side, would someone care to outline exactly what it is the EU is demanding that MSFT do to 'comply'?

Explain to me... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#12621199)

...why Microsoft gets punished for bundling software (IE, WMP, etc) when the more popular Linux distributions pretty much work by bundling? For example, Xandros installs Firefox. Aren't we really talking about the same difference, here?

To compete with Linux, it seems to me that there is no other recourse but to offer a competing package.

Really, this is not a flamebait, someone explain how to me why a company is not entitled to compete with alternative platforms with similar offerings?

Is competing anti-competitive? Is the EU protecting their customers, businesses, or special interests?
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