Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:17 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Legal Microsoft suffered a stunning defeat on Monday when a European Union court backed a European Commission ruling that the US software giant illegally abused its market power to crush competitors. The European Union's second-highest court dismissed the company's appeal on all substantive points of the 2004 antitrustruling. The court said Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, was unjustified in tying new applications to its Windows operating system in a way that harmed consumer choice. The verdict, which may be appealed only on points of law and not of fact, could force Microsoft to change its business practices.
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Too little, too late
by DevL on Mon 17th Sep 2007 16:29 UTC
DevL
Member since:
2005-07-06

As if Microsoft wil lever open up its formats and protocols. And the fine, that's pocket change given that Microsoft have been dragging this issue through the courts for years and years while maintaining its monopoly.

An AT&T-style breakup had been the way to go. A Windows company, an Office company, and a systems (Xbox et al) company.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Too little, too late
by DrillSgt on Mon 17th Sep 2007 20:09 in reply to "Too little, too late"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"An AT&T-style breakup had been the way to go. A Windows company, an Office company, and a systems (Xbox et al) company."

Well, we see how the AT&T breakup helped. All they did was re-purchase all the separate companies, and the ones that came up as competition. They still have the monopoly stranglehold, and they even keep extending it out. Do you not think MS would have done the same thing by now?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Too little, too late
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 17th Sep 2007 23:41 in reply to "RE: Too little, too late"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Not to mention the real loss in the AT&T tragedy: Bell Labs. What used to be the premier corporate research group in the world, which gave us such inventions as the transistor and the C compiler, is now reduced to patent-trolling with the MP3 patents.

Most of you folks do not pay much attention to the work done by MSR, and it is still a young organization, but they have done work which fundamentally enhances computer science (from natural language processing to abstract mathematics). This would be lost if Microsoft were to be split.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Too little, too late
by Spellcheck on Mon 17th Sep 2007 23:58 in reply to "Too little, too late"
Spellcheck Member since:
2007-01-20

That is not an AT&T-style breakup. Stop getting your bad analogies from the pitiful reporting at the WSJ.

AT&T was turned into geographical monopolies, more like TV cable companies, because of the fixed costs of the lines. Also remember the complaints in the 19th century of the railroad: people didn't understand the trouble of accounting for their high fixed costs, so they regulated it to death ("railroaded"). As a result, when it was partly nationalized during WWI, the government found out that they were nearly brankrupt as a result of that regulation (relating mostly to prices and expansion).

There are economic similarities in software (and pharma) companies' high fixed-wrt-sales R&D costs and low variable-wrt-sales replication costs. And that is still a hard circumstance to properly account for. However, their accounting situation is not at issue with this so-called regulation at all.

Reply Parent Score: 1