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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MS should split themselves up
by MollyC on Tue 18th Sep 2007 18:28 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Regarding this particular case (I talk of the server protocol issue, since the WMP issue is a total joke, particularly since MS and Real settled their differences already), I think it's clear that this is about MS server competitors wanting to be able to mimic ActiveDirectory, without having to pay to license the ActiveDirectory tech. As such, it means that Microsoft spent millions in R&D to create ActiveDirectory, and big government wants to force Microsoft to give that tech away for free, at the point of a gun. (I hate to sound like a right-wing nut, but what they say is true, that when it comes down to it, all government law is ultimately enforced by force of arms.)

According to statements made by the EC commissioner, the goal is to bring down Microsoft's server marketshare (he talks of a bringing down their 95% share to ~50%, but Microsoft doesn't have 95% share in servers, so he doesn't even know what his own case is about, but whatever.) He has stated that he will keep punishing Microsoft and/or manipulating the market until he brings down MS's share.

Rather than continue to deal with the EU's laws, which are at odds with the US laws, eere I running Microsoft, I'd split the company into two companies: Microsoft and MS-Europe. The existing shareholders get shares in both companies, of course. To start with, MS-Europe gets all the IP that Microsoft has, and they sell the same products. But they begin to hire their own employees, eventually Microsoft and MS-Europe have completely different staffs, supporting the same product line. Then, Microsoft simply withdraws from the EU market, leaving that market to the new MS-Euro company.

Reply Score: 1

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Sorry, but on the principle of operating a business I think this method is wholly inappropriate and unnecessary. Personally I do not see where it is in the interest of either EU or US law to force a company to license out or open up technologies at a non-negotiated price. If Sun or Novell wants to mimic Active Directory, then it is up to them to clearly approach Microsoft and pay for it. Better still, why not come up with a competing form of technology that rivals Active Directory and bring that to the market...kind of the way things are suppose to work.

If these companies decide that they do not wish to invest in either developing their own, or licensing then it is their responsibility all together whether they gain or lose market share.

But forcing a company to do something that is against all sane business practices does not help the EU market. What it does signal is that the EU is just not a good place to invest in. Now is that good for the consumer? Frankly one needs to question whether the EU is looking more at protectionist practices here to harm a US company as they have done way too many times in the past 10 years.

Reply Parent Score: 1

porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

You, MollyC, are so full of shit.

Active Directory represents years of R&D. I will agree with that statement. What you don't clarify is that the R&D was done by people like MIT that designed and wrote kerberos, which Active Directory "nicely" extended so that Microsoft's AD would be slightly incompatible with every other kerberos implementation out there.

And nobody is asking Microsoft to give anything away. Cut the bullshit. 12 of the highest sitting judges in the EU are after reviewing the law and thousands of pages of evidence asking Microsoft to stop abusing its monopoly position.

The remedy they have recommended is that Microsoft document its protocols so that using a Microsoft server does not mean that you have to be forced to use Microsoft clients and viceversa.

If Microsoft's software stands on its merits, they will be able to compete regardless. NFS is well documented as is ssh as are many other protocols and people pick among the implementations those that suit them better.

That is how things are supposed to work. You may wish your favorite corporation to be above the law, but it simply isn't. Want to know why?

Because unregulated markets are black markets where consumers have no rights and no certainty of any outcome. The only ones to benefit in such markets are thieves and scammers.

That's why every part of the market, from the stock exchange to accounting rules are under regulation from, get this, the big bad government.

It's nauseating to keep reading the same rehearsed propaganda that simply fails to stand to any serious scrutiny.

Edited 2007-09-19 03:10

Reply Parent Score: 2

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

And you sir are sadly ignorant to what is being asked of a business. Try to be a little more educated and professional about this. Instead you allow blinders of bias towards a business you do not like get in the way of seeing the bigger picture. Quite simply this is not the responsibility of the EU to force Microsoft to open up these technologies. If a company such as IBM, Sun, or Novell wishes to use them, then it is THEIR responsibility to negotiate with Microsoft.

What this ends up being in appearance is more an issue of EU protectionism in action against a US corporation. On the basis of good business practice, I would NOT condone the reversal if the DOJ wanted to require any European company to do the same.

Let me put it in the most simplistic way, if you were CEO of Microsoft and you did what the EU wanted, then you would NOT be CEO for long...

Reply Parent Score: 0