Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 9th May 2008 20:24 UTC
Microsoft In February 2008, the European Commission fined Microsoft for the record-breaking amount of 899 million Euros, for not complying to the 2004 ruling from Brussels. Today, Microsoft announced it has decided to appeal the fine. "We are filing this appeal in a constructive effort to seek clarity from the court. We will not be saying anything further," the company stated.
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RE[3]: Comment by satan666
by satan666 on Sat 10th May 2008 13:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by satan666"
Member since:

Nobody said that, I just said I hope they increase the fine. If I were the judge, Microsoft should already file for bankruptcy.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[4]: Comment by satan666
by mabhatter on Sat 10th May 2008 17:55 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by satan666"
mabhatter Member since:

the fine is pocket change... but also a record amount.. that's the problem. For a normal company a few million in fines would hurt the balance sheets and do damage, for Microsoft they "mattress" so much money it's impossible to pick a reasonable fine that will damage them... and DAMAGE is the point of fines. Just like locking your or I in Jail, it's intended to be unfair and hurt. For these fines to hurt Microsoft the EU would have to make it $100Billion to really soak up all the profit they've made just during the time they've challenged this in courts. As a matter of legal precedence the fines have to be based on legal statutes, so they can't just adjust the fines until they hurt.

Because if corporate rules you can't arrest members of a corporation for fines owed, and you wouldn't get the policy makers anyway. Perhaps banning their products from sale in EU space is the only option. When you go to jail you are not allowed to conduct business affairs (such as write rent checks, review contracts, etc) perhaps disallowing Microsoft from doing business would count as "jail". Cut them off from ALL business, no paying rent, no paying taxes, no paying employee wages, you can't "take" the money in bank accounts but you can order it frozen and not to earn interest (the banks would love that!) hurting their employees and contract holders would force them to file more suits to recover their damage, when ever Microsoft is allowed to do business, as well as do damage to their reputation, again, that's what normal people go to jail for and it's considered just fine.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by satan666
by anda_skoa on Sat 10th May 2008 18:54 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by satan666"
anda_skoa Member since:

and DAMAGE is the point of fines.

No, it's not.

The point of fines in the area of European market laws is to remind cooperations that they are being watched and can't just do what they want.

Lets take the Volkswagen case for example: they wanted to improve their sales in Italy and thereforea had special deals at their Italian dealers. Naturally people close by, mostly Austrians and Germans, started buying in Italy instead in their own countries.

Volkswagen then thought it would go unnoticed that they instructed their Italian dealers to not sell to foreigners.
Unfortunately for them it didn't and they were fined about 100 million EUR.

Volkswagen was smart enough to take this hint (like a slap on the wrist) seriously.

Some other companies are not and they might get to a point when the EU has to consider other options, e.g. barring the market violator from participating in call for tenders of governmental projects. There is most likely no industry which wants to lose this part of the market.

We'll see if Microsoft will understand early enough that the European Commission's patience is based on the assumption that cooperations usually just need a hint rather than issuing regulatory measurements.

Reply Parent Score: 3