Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Jun 2006 21:15 UTC, submitted by brewin
Legal The European Commission is ready to impose a fine of 2m Euros ($2.5m; £1.4m) a day on Microsoft. The Commission is expected to rule that Microsoft has failed to fully implement its 2004 antitrust decision. Under the ruling, Microsoft had to supply rivals with information about its Windows operating system.
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v ...
by helf on Tue 27th Jun 2006 21:46 UTC
RE: ...
by ThawkTH on Tue 27th Jun 2006 21:59 UTC in reply to "..."
ThawkTH Member since:
2005-07-06

Hey Look! They made the ruling over a year ago, didn't they?

If it was about the money, they'd start charging first.

Not to mention, while 2.5Mill a day isn't chump change...It's not that much for the European Union. I'm sure they'll spend it, and happily, but Microsoft saw this coming.

They were probably waiting to see if the EU has any teeth. Well, now they're starting to growl.
Now MS, and most multinational corporations, will watch and see if they have any bite.

I must say, if the EU doesn't do SOMETHING now, I doubt they'll have any respect in the future...


I say, give 'em Hell Brussels! This is what you get for defying a lawful decision in another country. Just because you disagree and you're based in another country doesn't mean a thing. You do business there?

You play by their rules.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: ...
by helf on Tue 27th Jun 2006 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

lol. I was just poking fun at all the forthcoming posts.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: ...
by Sphinx on Tue 27th Jun 2006 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Staring down microsoft aint that easy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ...
by Googlesaurus on Wed 28th Jun 2006 00:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
Googlesaurus Member since:
2005-10-19

"Staring down microsoft aint that easy."

It's anything but easy. Non-EU based companies are watching this situation unfold with growing interest.

In some ways this has nearly nothing to do with MS. This has everything to do with the future of foreign business within the EU.

It might be less expensive for MS to simply tell them to screw themselves.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ...
by eMagius on Wed 28th Jun 2006 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

Hey Look! They made the ruling over a year ago, didn't they?

If it was about the money, they'd start charging first.


If it was really about crushing the Serbs, Austria-Hungary wouldn't have issued an ultimatum first.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: ...
by butters on Wed 28th Jun 2006 07:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Just a kind reminder: There are Americans who read these comments, and you should realize that the vast majority educated Americans don't know enough about history to understand your metaphor. Many Americans probably think that Serbia is in the Middle East, somewhere near Rand McNally.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: ...
by Jedd on Wed 28th Jun 2006 07:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
Jedd Member since:
2005-07-06

That's wrong, just wrong. As and american I understand, and I am offened by your comment sir.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: ...
by butters on Wed 28th Jun 2006 07:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ..."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Ouch, I'm sorry I offended you... I'm an American, too, you see. I grew up in middle-class NY-metro suburbs and went to a prestigious university, so I'm fully aware that not all Americans are ignorant. However, you're deluding yourself if you think that most American high school graduates would understand that the parent poster was referring to the first World War, with or without the Microsoft/EU context, let alone understand the comparison being made. Have you ever seen that reality game show "Street Smarts" or Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" segment? It's hilarious how Americans can be so oblivious to the world around them, and it's a testament to our economic machine how they can still do alright for themselves.

That was my first negative mod in a long, long time. Maybe I should be more provocative from now on...

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: ...
by Jedd on Wed 28th Jun 2006 07:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
Jedd Member since:
2005-07-06

hehe, true. Good comparison. :-p

Reply Score: 1

NO, IT IS EASY MONEY
by Nitro on Tue 27th Jun 2006 22:26 UTC
Nitro
Member since:
2006-06-27

I can remember so many differnent computers and operating systems many years ago. Microsoft got to where it is because the world put it there. There was so many choices then, and there is now. Instead of trying to take money from Microsoft how about rivals companys EARN IT! Give us better products at better prices.

Reply Score: 1

RE: NO, IT IS EASY MONEY
by Gullible Jones on Tue 27th Jun 2006 22:32 UTC in reply to "NO, IT IS EASY MONEY"
Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

They are doing that as we speak: Sun, Novell, Apple, all of them, albeit with their own brands of bogus advertising. Microsoft got where they are by pushing limits, and I think that this time they might have pushed a bit too hard on people who don't feel like wasting time with them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: NO, IT IS EASY MONEY
by watchingher on Tue 27th Jun 2006 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE: NO, IT IS EASY MONEY"
watchingher Member since:
2006-06-06

>"Microsoft got where they are by pushing limits"

Thats really only a fraction of it... they got to where they are by utilizing illegal business practices and stealing intellectual property. if that's "pushing the limits" then so be it, but I feel thats important to clarify as some might think that Microsoft got to where they are today buy offering a better product and then marketing it more aggressively.

Reply Score: 5

RE: NO, IT IS EASY MONEY
by Sphinx on Tue 27th Jun 2006 23:27 UTC in reply to "NO, IT IS EASY MONEY"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Maybe you missed that huge pile of evidence at this sort of illegal monopoly like thingy I think they were actually tried and convicted of in a rare spurt of American justice. Just a bummer the industry didn't get to share in those rosy memories of that era.
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: NO, IT IS EASY MONEY
by butters on Wed 28th Jun 2006 07:13 UTC in reply to "RE: NO, IT IS EASY MONEY"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Ah, those were the days: There was at least the illusion of justice in the interest of the average American, the president was actually more intelligent and articulate than I aspire to be, and he got to have some fun in his office. It's all downhill from here, sadly...

Why is there no one here to "feel my pain" <bites lower lip> <points with thumb>?

Reply Score: 2

RE: NO, IT IS EASY MONEY
by Rehdon on Wed 28th Jun 2006 06:23 UTC in reply to "NO, IT IS EASY MONEY"
Rehdon Member since:
2005-07-06

Huh? What are you talking about? They've been convicted because of their anticompetitive behaviour (as already happened in several other countries, USA included), they've been given a chance to amend their position, and they wilfully refused to do so. To pretend they're the "victim" is just absurd, I say fine them until judgement day comes if this is what they want.

rehdon

Reply Score: 2

v Hmmm... can you say bully?
by Shadowmane on Tue 27th Jun 2006 23:33 UTC
RE: Hmmm... can you say bully?
by GreatBunzinni on Wed 28th Jun 2006 00:07 UTC in reply to "Hmmm... can you say bully?"
GreatBunzinni Member since:
2005-10-31

"bully"? Are you nuts? We are talking about a company which hides and refuses to release the information about how the underlying system works. This is the company which uses that information to tie it's own products so deep into the system that not only it's virtually impossible to remove them or turn them off but also hinders the usage of competing products. To make matters worse, this is the company which mocks the European Commission's ruling and blatantly refuses to release what the company was ordered to.

This all makes it too obvious that the European Commission's actions are not bullying but clearly a demand to level up the playing field for every competing company in the world, where the US is included.


Moreover, it is stupid to claim that the European Commission wants Microsoft to leave the EU market. First of all, if that was indeed their objective then instead of fining the company, they could simply order them to leave the EU market. That's what you claim that it's what they want. To make matters worse, why would the European Commission want to force out the established, undisputed and obviously unparalleled supplier of the entire foundation that virtually all of the world's businesses rely on? Let's not even state that it would be impossible to do so. Why would the European Commition want to get rid of a range of products which don't have a viable alternative and are the basis for their entire business infra-structure?

Reply Score: 4

v RE[2]: Hmmm... can you say bully?
by tomcat on Wed 28th Jun 2006 00:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm... can you say bully?"
RE[3]: Hmmm... can you say bully?
by ma_d on Wed 28th Jun 2006 05:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm... can you say bully?"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Has the EU set up a standard that's impossible for MS to meet? I don't know. Nobody really knows except the EU.
Cop out. If you have the same competency in this matter you have the same knowledge the EU does as they publish this stuff for us all to see. It's not like the EU knows something they're hiding.
If you want to know if they're asking for the impossible, read what they're asking: Documentation for protocols.

Microsoft has responded with things like source code: Something any programmer can tell you is not a good source of information if you want to finish it in a timely manner and not be accused of copyright infringement when you're rewriting it.

It is a subjective question though, because for an uber-genius with lots of time on his hands the binaries are enough documentation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Hmmm... can you say bully?
by tomcat on Wed 28th Jun 2006 19:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm... can you say bully?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Have you actually read what MS submitted? Serious question. Or are you merely responding to things you've read in the news?

Reply Score: 1

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

This is not piling on. It is about time the USA stops hiding behind the excuse *that everybody hates America*. The EU is just enforcing European laws, like every other sovereign entity.

Microsoft is well known for polluting protocols created by others and pushing these hybrid monstrosities aggressively out into the market. MS doesn't compete on merrit, they kill competition by several tactics (bundling, Embrace/Extend/Extinguish, preloading) which give MS products the leg up against competing products.

The EU warned MS that these practises wouldn't be tolerated in the European market. They made it very clear that MS should comply with the ruling or be fined an X amount per day of non-compliance. MS stays in non-compliance and now we should feel sorry for poor old MS, because they are an American company that is being piled on by Europe? MS should play by the rules of the markets they operate in.

Just because MS is the biggest supplier of Operating Systems and Office software for average users doesn't mean they can ignore laws without consequences.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Hmmm... can you say bully?
by tomcat on Wed 28th Jun 2006 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm... can you say bully?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Microsoft is well known for polluting protocols created by others and pushing these hybrid monstrosities aggressively out into the market.

Example?

MS doesn't compete on merrit, they kill competition by several tactics (bundling, Embrace/Extend/Extinguish, preloading) which give MS products the leg up against competing products.

The courts have already addressed all of those issues by forbidding MS from engaging in those practices. Forcing MS to open the protocols to competitors goes way beyond the court decisions.

The EU warned MS that these practises wouldn't be tolerated in the European market. They made it very clear that MS should comply with the ruling or be fined an X amount per day of non-compliance. MS stays in non-compliance and now we should feel sorry for poor old MS, because they are an American company that is being piled on by Europe? MS should play by the rules of the markets they operate in.

And, needless to say, this ruling will primarily benefit European competitors.

Just because MS is the biggest supplier of Operating Systems and Office software for average users doesn't mean they can ignore laws without consequences.

This ruling which orders opening the protocols isn't a law. It's an arbitrary exercise of power by the EC.

Reply Score: 1

rlewczuk Member since:
2006-05-04

> Example?
LDAP (Active Directory), Kerberos (MS Kerberos), SMB (CIFS), weird DNS extensions, (D)HTML/CSS/JavaScript (broken implementation, weakest W3C compliance compared to all contemporary competitors), etc. etc.

> The courts have already addressed all of those issues
> by forbidding MS from engaging in those practices.
> Forcing MS to open the protocols to competitors goes
> way beyond the court decisions.
Say, US courts and Bush administration ? Did it change anything ?

> And, needless to say, this ruling will primarily
> benefit European competitors.
Opening specs will benefit everyone (except Microsoft).

> This ruling which orders opening the protocols isn't
> a law. It's an arbitrary exercise of power by the EC.
US court ruled the same. But Bush administration excercised its power to render that ruling useless.

Please stop trolling.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Hmmm... can you say bully?
by quartz on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm... can you say bully?"
quartz Member since:
2006-05-24

EU is not the judge of the compliance process. They hired a third-party, well-know computer scientist to evaluate the documentation MS turned out.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Hmmm... can you say bully?
by tomcat on Wed 28th Jun 2006 19:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm... can you say bully?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

The evaluator was employed by the EU; ergo, he was an agent of the EU; ergo, he was the EU.

Reply Score: 1

You are a coward , liar and theif !
by Moulinneuf on Wed 28th Jun 2006 05:24 UTC in reply to "Hmmm... can you say bully?"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

I Dont know why everytime Etats-Unians ( Dont bring America and Americans in your shit ) company break the rules , get condemned , they play the Amerrican card angle and cry fool. The same rule apply to everyone:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/418c5ca4-05f4-11db-9dde-0000779e2340.html

A huge increase in fines for companies that operate cartels or break European Union competition law will be announced on Wednesday by the European Commission.

Brussels has already imposed some of the toughest fines in recent history, including a record €497m ($626m, £350m) penalty against Microsoft in 2004 and one of €462m against Roche in 2001. Over the past few months the Brussels regulator has again ratcheted up the fines, especially in cartel cases.

Officials believe that only higher fines will deter companies from operating price-fixing cartels or abusing dominant market positions.

They are particularly keen to increase the fines for repeat offenders and large groups with significant financial fire-power.

The new guidelines, which have been seen by the Financial Times, reflect the Commission’s belief that the rules are too rigid and lack transparency – a view shared by many competition lawyers and most companies targeted by the Brussels trust-busters.

The new regime will apply to all companies found guilty of participating in a cartel or that abuse their dominant market position. It will almost certainly mean that more companies will be fined the maximum amount allowed under EU law, which is 10 per cent of global annual turnover. Up to now, only a handful of companies have been punished that severely.

The new regime will be especially tough on repeat offenders. At present, fines are usually raised by 50 per cent for companies that have previous convictions for antitrust abuses. Now the Commission can double the punishment in cases where there is one earlier ruling against the group, and may go even higher for “multi-recidivists”.

Companies will in future be treated as repeat offenders by the Commission if they have previously been convicted by national competition authorities.

Fines will be calculated by fixing a basic amount – up to 30 per cent of a company’s sales of the relevant product in the market where the abuse has taken place – and then multiplying it by the number of years during which the abuse continued. To this may be added an “entrance fee”, equivalent to 15-25 per cent of the company’s yearly sales of the product in question.

“The mere fact that a company enters into a cartel will cost it at least 15-25 per cent of its yearly turnover,” the Commission paper says.

Stephen Kinsella, a Brussels-based partner at law firm Sidley Austin, said changes to the current fining practices would be welcome, especially if they introduced greater predictability and transparency. “At present it is almost impossible to foresee whether a company will be fined €25m or €100m. Greater clarity would also help the Commission, because it would be harder for companies to challenge the fines in court.”

The Commission declined to comment. However, Neelie Kroes, the competition commissioner, has made clear in her most recent rulings against cartels that she is keen to intensify the crackdown on abusive companies.

She said earlier this month that she was “shocked” that chemicals groups such as ICI had broken cartel rules repeatedly.

Reply Score: 5

siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

This is excellent. First to target should be mobile operators in multiple EU countries for obvious price fixing and even worse fixing of roaming call prices.

Maybe phone prices will drop to a normal level if that happens.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hmmm... can you say bully?
by dylansmrjones on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:00 UTC in reply to "Hmmm... can you say bully?"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It has nothing to do with the company being american.

If you knew something about the laws in EU-countries, you'd know that minor danish companies and swedish, german, italian and spanish companies (continue the list as you see fit) have received the same treatment.

I don't really agree with the EU on this kind of treatment, but it has nothing to do with MS being an american company. It has something to do with MS being a monopoly. Personally I don't see that as a problem - monopolies can be countered with market forces - if you have a truely free market, that is.

But since that isn't the case (using quasi-plan economy in EU), limiting monopolies through laws and court rulings in the way it's done. This also happens in USA.

Reply Score: 3

Watch out Microsoft
by Governa on Wed 28th Jun 2006 01:35 UTC
Governa
Member since:
2006-04-09

Building a nice OS. That is ok.
Building a nice OS and then locking it down to avoid any rival company from using the underlying technology to develop apps capable of rival with IE, WMP, WMA, WMV, MSN Mess, MS Office and such is just plain wrong. That hurts small players like Opera, Firefox, AIM, ICQ, Wordperfect, Lotus 1-2-3 just to name a few.

One example, Firewire vs. USB. Microsoft always pushed Firewire support down the drain just because it was developed by Apple.

You can get full support for IEEE 1394a and 1394b on Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and other operating systems, but with the release of SP2 for WinXP, the default speed for all types of firewire is S100 (100 Mbit/second). Having in mind that Firewire400 can transfer data at 400 Mbit/s and Firewire800 can transfer at 800 Mbit/s, this is totally ridiculous by Microsoft.

Microsoft is not evil but its actions are hurting both small software makers and the consumers. We end up paying more and getting less.

This is NOT an Europe vs. USA thing. If you think it is you are being childish.

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Watch out Microsoft
by Googlesaurus on Wed 28th Jun 2006 05:52 UTC in reply to "Watch out Microsoft"
RE[2]: Watch out Microsoft
by xxmf on Wed 28th Jun 2006 08:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Watch out Microsoft"
xxmf Member since:
2006-06-15

why do you say that - they seem to be doing just fine - unlike the doj who capitulated completely.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Watch out Microsoft
by r_a_trip on Wed 28th Jun 2006 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Watch out Microsoft"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

I consider it a matter of the European Commission grossly over-estimating their ability to exert control over a non-EU based corporation.

This remains to be seen. Microsoft has assets in the EU, which can be seized in the event MS decides to ignore local European laws.

I also wonder why being based in another country than an EU member state exempts you from following European laws. If this were true, I wonder why European companies even put up with United States laws. Since they are not based in the USA, they can safely ignore them following your twisted logic.

May I remember U.S. citizens about the Dmitri Sklyarov case? Sklyarov reverse engineered a DRM-ed e-book format in the former USSR, where this is perfectly legal. Upon landing in the USA, he was arrested and charged under the DMCA. Since when do US laws reach over US borders, making law abiding citizens of a foreign sovereign state criminals under US laws?

At least the EU is charging Microsofts European business in the EU. They are not pursuing them for violations elsewhere.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Hmmm... can you say bully?
by Soulbender on Wed 28th Jun 2006 03:22 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

"Far be it for me to defend Microsoft, but I think this might be a case of the European Union trying to push an American company around just because they're American."

Yeah, good thing the american government never unfairly favour american companies. Oh wait....

"If Microsoft has to give away all of the information Europe wants them to, they will be shooting themselves in the foot."
"What this boils down to is Europe trying to push Microsoft out of Europe."
Hey, if you don't want to play the game and follow the rules, take your business elsewhere. That's how it is supposed to work, right? Oh yeah, that's only the right thing if it's not your company that needs to comply.

Reply Score: 2

Look Guys...
by capricorn_tm on Wed 28th Jun 2006 05:37 UTC
capricorn_tm
Member since:
2005-12-31

I simply do not get why each time EU fines an US company it becomes a matter of politics.

We have Judges and rules and laws as well as you do and if Mandriva was fined in US I would even arrive to think that not a single Us citizen would say "AH! here is the gouvernement that uses politics to interfere in business and push a EU company out of the market".

Microsoft broke law, Microsoft got caught, Microsoft wil pay.

You know, it is really that easy. Wich part of the word "justice" don't you understand? I'm more that willing to reexplain it to you.

Oh, and to the one that said "Give us better sistems at lower price" I would gladly inform that there is a thing called Linux, that works wonderfully and is quiet cheaper, in both terms of hardware costs and software costs than Xp and future ( if ever) released Vista.
We Ol' European chaps call that a "free alternative". Want to have a try? It could surprise you.

Reply Score: 5

Indeed!
by Jedd on Wed 28th Jun 2006 07:14 UTC in reply to "Look Guys..."
Jedd Member since:
2005-07-06

Politics should stay the hell out of business. I'm American, and I TOTALLY agree with you. MS did indeed break the damned law, and they are and should be punished. Hell, that'd be like me going to Europe and killing someone and expecting to get away with it--- NOT gonna happen; so why the hell should Microsoft get away with what they have done. Right it right. Simple as that.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Look Guys...
by rcsteiner on Wed 28th Jun 2006 18:09 UTC in reply to "Look Guys..."
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Everything turns into politics eventually.

Reply Score: 1

v Is it any wonder...
by Marcellus on Wed 28th Jun 2006 07:23 UTC
Well deserved.
by siki_miki on Wed 28th Jun 2006 11:18 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

Microsoft expectedly ignored the ruling and tried everything to prevent it from become effective. We've seen it already in the US and back then questionably-elected G.W. Bush saved their skin.

It's old news that Microsoft's main strategy is to play dirty: jealously keeping secret all information valuable for interoperability, while they retain their monopoly in the area. Not that other compaines are different: Adobe recently (successfully) threatened Microsoft about the PDF support in MSOffice - but Microsoft is certainly amoung the worst ones out there.

MS's main strategy was historically to claim that only their products are reliable and "certified" to interoperate correctly with other MS products. They will have to change that attitude now (if they don't want to keep paying a billion per year to EU).

Albeit the decision came too late. Many of their protocols and API's are already reverse engineered and remiplemented. Nevertheless, official documentation can only be a plus, because lot's of information about MS proprietary stuff is still unknown.

Samba, MSN-clients, probably Wine, Mono, ReactOS, NTFS-linux and a few Office suits, as well as (hopefully) various interoperability tools for enterprise stuff like Exchange, MSKerberos, AD, will likely gain a big boost.

Edited 2006-06-28 11:38

Reply Score: 1

There are a lot of different opinions ...
by tomcat on Wed 28th Jun 2006 19:23 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

... on this issue.

Some of you who are voting down posts solely because you disagree with their content should refer to the posting terms:

http://osnews.com/rules.php

There are a number of posts which comply with the posting terms -- and yet were still voted down. These weren't trolls. Why is that? Are the voters really afraid that an opposing opinion would sway the undecided? Or was it simply a reflexive emotional reaction? Either way, it's wrong.

Here's a novel idea: Let people be heard. Even if you disagree.

Reply Score: 2