Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 26th Sep 2006 23:04 UTC
Legal European competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said the US government tried to influence its decision over a 280.5 mln eur fine for software giant Microsoft, newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad said. The US embassy in Brussels had contacted Kroes and asked her to be a bit 'nicer' to Microsoft before she had taken the decision to fine Microsoft in July, Kroes said in an interview.
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Heh ...
by Riddic on Tue 26th Sep 2006 23:40 UTC
Riddic
Member since:
2005-10-05

Pays off to "purchase" a couple of politicians, apparently.
I hope Kroes gives them the finger.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Heh ...
by tomcat on Wed 27th Sep 2006 00:00 UTC in reply to "Heh ..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Pays off to "purchase" a couple of politicians, apparently.

Same goes for Kroes, apparently. I'm sure that MS's competitors absolutely loooooooooove this chick.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Heh ...
by Tyr. on Wed 27th Sep 2006 00:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Heh ..."
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

Pays off to "purchase" a couple of politicians, apparently.

Same goes for Kroes, apparently. I'm sure that MS's competitors absolutely loooooooooove this chick.


Well I would expect the US to at least speak on behalf of what is a large taxpayer for them. As long as there is no exerting of actual pressure I don't see a problem with that.

And the both of you should provide evidence before spouting random accusations like that.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Heh ...
by dylansmrjones on Wed 27th Sep 2006 00:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Heh ..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The mere fact USA tells EU to be nicer against Microsoft is exerting actual pressure.

Considering the US foreign policy in the past, I wonder exactly how USA told EU to be nice.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Heh ...
by Tyr. on Wed 27th Sep 2006 00:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Heh ..."
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

The mere fact USA tells EU to be nicer against Microsoft is exerting actual pressure.

Considering the US foreign policy in the past, I wonder exactly how USA told EU to be nice.


I dunno. If I was accused of anything in a foreign country I would expect my ambassador to come and speak on my behalf. I could see the EU doing exactly the same thing abroad, it's just politics as usual on that level.

But yeah the US should have kept its mouth shut, if only because at this low point in US/EU relations anything they say is more likely to hurt the case than to help it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Heh ...
by dylansmrjones on Wed 27th Sep 2006 01:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Heh ..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I wouldn't expect the ambassador to speak on my behalf. I would however expect the ambassador to make sure I got a fair trial.

But there is a HUGE difference between a fair trial and being "nicer" to a certain person or company.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Heh ...
by Marcellus on Wed 27th Sep 2006 06:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Heh ..."
Marcellus Member since:
2005-08-26

Likewise, Kroes should have kept her big mouth shut as well.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Heh ...
by Soulbender on Wed 27th Sep 2006 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Heh ..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Likewise, Kroes should have kept her big mouth shut as well."

Why should she shut up about a nation trying to apply undue pressure?

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: Heh ...
by Meanwhile on Wed 27th Sep 2006 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Heh ..."
Meanwhile Member since:
2005-09-03

I can imagine it's not uncommon practice and if you know your own stance, there's no need to open your mouth...it may also help the quality, speed and direction of negotiations.
just let it go in through one ear, out through the other :-)

Edited 2006-09-27 13:41

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Heh ...
by tomcat on Thu 28th Sep 2006 19:51 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Heh ..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Why should she shut up about a nation trying to apply undue pressure?

Because (a) it doesn't help relations with other countries to make public statements about back-channel communications, (b) she already made up her mind to ignore US entreaties for leniency, and (c) it gives her the appearance of grandstanding.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Heh ...
by ronaldst on Wed 27th Sep 2006 00:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Heh ..."
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

Same goes for Kroes, apparently. I'm sure that MS's competitors absolutely loooooooooove this chick.

LOL so true. It's very important that you brought that up.

There is a lesson to be here: It's hateful people and subpar companies, in this case Euro-bureaucrats trying for popularity contest instead of doing their job and companies like Adobe, to that screw this industry up.

Bottom line: It's pathetic. What MS did was about the same as Nintendo. Get over it. -_-

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Heh ...
by dimosd on Wed 27th Sep 2006 07:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Heh ..."
dimosd Member since:
2006-02-10

in this case Euro-bureaucrats trying for popularity contest

Another word for it would "European elected politicians", not that different from "US elected politicians"... but that doesn't sound insulting enough, right?

And btw, if you feel this comfortable with the idea of companies buying out politicians, perhaps you should look up some history books on the "fine line" between democracy and fascism. I am not saying that it isn't happening, what I'm saying is that it shouldn't be happening.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Heh ...
by ronaldst on Wed 27th Sep 2006 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Heh ..."
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

Another word for it would "European elected politicians", not that different from "US elected politicians"... but that doesn't sound insulting enough, right?

Nah. In this case it's the" paperwork people" in Europe that are misguided. If you took it as an insult then you have a serious problem on your hands.

And btw, if you feel this comfortable with the idea of companies buying out politicians, perhaps you should look up some history books on the "fine line" between democracy and fascism. I am not saying that it isn't happening, what I'm saying is that it shouldn't be happening.

I don't remember being comfortable with the idea of companies buying out politicians. I am also not comfortable with union bosses buying out politicians too. ;)

Althought I am familiar with fascism (radical and extremist form of socialism born in Europe). But this doesn't apply in this case and is off topic. What we have here is the EU government not being "fascist" but more like it's abuse of MS is unfounded and meritless.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Heh ...
by ozonehole on Wed 27th Sep 2006 16:41 UTC in reply to "Heh ..."
ozonehole Member since:
2006-01-07

Pays off to "purchase" a couple of politicians, apparently.

You're not being fair. The USA has the best politicians that money can buy.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Heh ...
by KenJackson on Wed 27th Sep 2006 18:32 UTC in reply to "Heh ..."
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

Pays off to "purchase" a couple of politicians, apparently.

One could argue that it is the job of The US embassy in Brussels to look out for the interests of US citizens and US companies. Kroes was wrong to call it "an intervention which cannot stand...".

But the rest of the sentence is true, "Like all companies great and small, Microsoft is not above the law."

Reply Score: 1

USA != World
by mallard on Wed 27th Sep 2006 00:21 UTC
mallard
Member since:
2006-01-06

Oh look, another example of the US government trying to pressure forgien governments.
The current adminstration don't seem to get that the US government is exactly that, the government of the USA and contrary to popular belief, the USA does not rule the world and has no right to interfere with the governments of soverign states.

Reply Score: 5

RE: USA != World
by Coxy on Wed 27th Sep 2006 08:42 UTC in reply to "USA != World"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

well said

Reply Score: 2

RE: USA != World
by ahalsey on Wed 27th Sep 2006 19:36 UTC in reply to "USA != World"
ahalsey Member since:
2006-05-10

Calm down. The EU has been taking an increasingly stringent interpretation of antitrust law. If trade partners have different interpretations of antitrust law this could jeapordize fair trade. In an extreme case, a nation could use antitrust rulings against foreign companies as a protectionist means. It is entirely proper for trade-partners to discuss such things. Let's not be so quick to escalate the most trivial of things into international disputes -- there are enough of those already -- we don't need to fabricate new ones out of thin air.

Reply Score: 1

Anyone else
by SlackerJack on Wed 27th Sep 2006 01:39 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

Sick of the U.S sticking up for their monopoly business?, Fact is the U.S dont have the balls and love there corrupt politicians. Is that not how Bush got in?

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Anyone else
by Clinton on Wed 27th Sep 2006 05:38 UTC in reply to "Anyone else"
RE[2]: Anyone else
by Soulbender on Wed 27th Sep 2006 05:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Anyone else"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Nope. Bush got in because he was elected according to US law."

And the fact the he got enough votes for that is actually even more sad than if he had cheated.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Anyone else
by twenex on Wed 27th Sep 2006 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Anyone else"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

A moron was elected because Kerry is a moron? Sorry, but no-one outside the Christofundie Neofascist Rightwing Reality Distortion field that seemingly is gobbling up larger and larger parts of the US really believes that Kerry is MORE of a moron than Bush.

Reply Score: 5

favor
by netpython on Wed 27th Sep 2006 05:46 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Ah now they call back a favor in return because of their supported dutch candidate Jaap De Hoop scheffer (Chief of Nato)

Reply Score: 1

What would you expect...
by h3rman on Wed 27th Sep 2006 07:02 UTC
h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

...of a government that wages illegal wars, that sent countries into a hell of random violence, advancing terrorism instead of fighting terrorism, all to the joy of the industrial-military complex, that gets to try out their new toys, increasing its budget by the billions?

Who pays for it? American soldiers and Iraqi civilians dying all over the place, while the richest corporate 1% gets crazy tax benefits, complaining about caviar prices while the poorest will be left crumbs, especially if they lose their jobs in the expected economic crisis that is going to happen when the US deficit explodes and the Chinese refuse to finance it any longer.

It'd be surprising if a huge corporation like Microsoft was not backed by this US government, that will never even come close to having an idea of what a fair economy looks like. After all, the more money you have, the more protected you are from harm by the government.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What would you expect...
by netpython on Wed 27th Sep 2006 07:58 UTC in reply to "What would you expect..."
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes akward,why isn't the world concerned about the Sudan killings?Ohw there isn't nothing to gain from going there.Than what about Afghanistan,is there uranium in the soil?

Reply Score: 2

Afghanistan soil...
by Kochise on Wed 27th Sep 2006 08:22 UTC in reply to "RE: What would you expect..."
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Something called oil pipeline...

But please quit politic subjects, we're dealing US threatening EU for having the balls to trial Microsoft while US have let them free for sake of US's market domination (politic free sentence)

Kochise

Reply Score: 5

RE: Afghanistan soil...
by tomcat on Thu 28th Sep 2006 19:54 UTC in reply to "Afghanistan soil..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

we're dealing US threatening EU for having the balls to trial Microsoft ...

Huh? Having the balls to try Microsoft? They're both prosecutor and judge. They can predecide the outcome and MS can't do anything about it. How does that take balls?

Reply Score: 1

v Please
by garybuk on Wed 27th Sep 2006 10:18 UTC
RE: Please
by dmantione on Wed 27th Sep 2006 10:47 UTC in reply to "Please"
dmantione Member since:
2005-07-06

> imagine if a company like EADS or say BMW was being tried by the US government, what would Europe do ?? sit back and let it happen ?

No, they would start an investigation themselves. There is no mercy within the EU for antitrust violators. Speaking about BMW: The DG Competition is currently highly annoyed that cars have different prices in different member states. Cars manufacturers can expect to have their offices raided soon.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Please
by tomcat on Thu 28th Sep 2006 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Please"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Hmmmm ... oddly enough, the EU has no problem with Europe-based AirBus taking subsidies from multiple EU nations and establishing exclusive contracts with EU airlines. But, God forbid that Boeing should try the same thing with EU airlines.

This commission is protectionist. Pure and simple.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Please
by anda_skoa on Fri 29th Sep 2006 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Please"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

oddly enough, the EU has no problem with Europe-based AirBus taking subsidies from multiple EU nations

That has actually been tried at the WTO, but it got nowhere since Boing on the other hand is getting lots of subsidies through exlusive military contracts

Reply Score: 1

RE: Please
by unapersson on Wed 27th Sep 2006 12:17 UTC in reply to "Please"
unapersson Member since:
2005-07-19

Imagine if the EU tried to get along without Microsoft's products? wouldn't get very far let me tell you!

I'm sure they'd get on just fine. And lots of currently Windows only software companies would be rushing to port their software to take advantage of the new market that had just opened up.

Reply Score: 4

Politics
by stabilep on Wed 27th Sep 2006 13:28 UTC
stabilep
Member since:
2006-04-02

First off Bush was elected according to US laws whether you like him or hate him that is the same for every single president. No matter who becomes president 40% of the people who vote at least are not happy. If you think he is a moron or whatever fine. If you think he is the greatest president ever fine. Either way its irrelevant the people of the country voted and that is who became their president so lets try and cut out with the flame bait and name calling.

Now for something on topic, frankly I just want to see what happens if MS goes like "Fine we will just stop selling all our products in the EU and we shall see how that works out" I would enjoy it anyways. But if MS pretty much sucks up and pays these fines then thats a good way to see just how much money the EU brings into MS.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Politics
by rhyder on Wed 27th Sep 2006 15:27 UTC in reply to "Politics"
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

Why? What would happen? EU companies would simply have to transition over to non-MS comercial/FOSS software for their server/office machines. The next time an office upgrades they would have to transision over to Openoffice on Linux or MacOS for example. Good.

The gaming market of Europe is a considerable market force as well. Game publishers would have to move away from MS too. Good too.

Reply Score: 1

lucky
by vasper on Wed 27th Sep 2006 14:00 UTC
vasper
Member since:
2005-07-22

Actually... we are lucky the US only bombs for Oil and not for Software!!! lol

Reply Score: 3

RE: lucky
by Kochise on Wed 27th Sep 2006 14:08 UTC in reply to "lucky"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Is there any kind of software US is unable to produce by themselves ? Let me remind you that computers are natives from US, that US is the leader on this market, what the Hell would them bomb another country to steal their implementation of 'printf' ?

Kochise

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: lucky
by judgen on Wed 27th Sep 2006 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE: lucky"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

The first computers, the mechanical punch-card ones were actually from the industrial world center of the time, wich was not the US but europe. read more about the history of computers before making ignorant statements. Also i would like to add that the first digital programmable computer in the world was not american either. It was german and it was called Zuse Z3 and was built 1941. I say this once more to all history-teacher wannabes "Read the facts first, make statements later"

On the topic, i dont see Microsoft bailing out of this. I think they will pay and everything goes back to normal.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: lucky
by Kochise on Thu 28th Sep 2006 07:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: lucky"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Oh, you're left in the punch-card era ;) I believed we were talking about transistor-silicon based computers ! You could have added that George Boole was european as well, so you could claims all computer technology is derivative from european technology. You know what ? I'm european and I envy Intel (US), AMD (US), Texas Instruments (US), Motorola/Freescale (US), MIPS Technologies (US), Silicon Graphics (US), ... As a french, should I feel proud of Bull, Thomson, ... ? Or Amstrad for UK ?

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

disgusting
by RandomGuy on Wed 27th Sep 2006 10:30 UTC
RandomGuy
Member since:
2006-07-30

It is really disgusting to see politics and economy intermingled in such a way.
It is even more disgusting to see people actually trying to defend this sort of behaviour - things like "but it happens everywhere" do not make up for good excuses!

If the past century should have tought us one thing it's this:
Keep politics and economy as seperated as possible and provide a place for fair competition.
Politicians have no business in saying where economy should go or in supporting a specific company!

Reply Score: 2

There was a time
by DFergATL on Wed 27th Sep 2006 15:41 UTC
DFergATL
Member since:
2006-02-09

When as a US citizen I could safely assume that this was absurd. That there was no way our govenment would do something like this.

Now, all I can do is sigh... What is our govenment doing to us?

Reply Score: 1