Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 27th Jul 2009 07:29 UTC
Opera Software Last week, the European Commission announced that Microsoft is willing to implement a browser ballot screen in Windows so that users can select a browser to install when installing Windows or when setting up their OEM computer. While this makes Opera very happy, Opera would like to see Ubuntu and Apple offer such a ballot screen too.
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RE[2]: 0.5% share threshold
by MollyC on Wed 29th Jul 2009 05:40 UTC in reply to "RE: 0.5% share threshold"
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

sbergman, I'm sorry to disappoint you, that you "expected better" of me. ;)

But you're right. I don't like the EC. Because I don't think they are a just organization. I think they abuse their power. And I think that among the most dangerous things is a government law enforcement agency that is unchecked (the EU appeals courts are a joke, just rubberstamping whatever the EC does) and is on a power/ego trip (we'll show everyone who's boss!). Their decrees are based on whim and predispositions. They provide no due process to reach their verdicts of guilt. The accused is not provided a chance to face their accusers, cross examine accusers, or cross examine evidence. Indeed, the accused doesn't even have the right to know the evidence and accusers against it if the EC doesn't want them to know, let alone cross examine them. It's straight out of a Kafka novel.

And the EU Appeals courts are like most nations' appeals courts, in that they don't allow for examination of evidence either, merely examination of procedure. So the accused can't cross examine evidence at the appeals court either.

So the EC decrees are made without due process, without real trials. So whatever entity the EC is mad at or predisposed to rule against, they do, and nobody can stop them. Then, once the guitly verdict is decreed, the punishment is arbitrary. The fines have no rhyme or reason. The solutions are dumb too, like Windows XP N.

Then there's the double/triple/quadruple jeopardy. How many times is Microsoft to be fined for the same offense? Seems that the EC has fined Microsoft multiple times for bundling IE in the 1990s.

And this latest incident where the EC decreed that it is illegal for Microsoft to not ship a browser at all? There's absolutely nothing in EU antitrust law that would indicate such, but EU antitrust law is so vague that it basically boils down to "Whatever the EC says". So if they say that it's illegal for Windows to not have a browser, then that's the way it is. Like Pharoah's decrees or something.

I think the EC is out of control. I think the 1.5 billion dollar fine against Intel was absurd. I thinks Windows XP N was absurd. I think the notion that Windows MUST bundle a browser is absurd. And, to the point I made in my GP post, I think the EU's decision to choose a ballot browser share threshold that's so tiny, but required to be tiny in order to let Opera sneak in is absurd. And I think this ballot screws over any new browsers that may come along. The ballot presents a barrier of entry, but not by Microsoft, but rather government mandated, which is an order of magnitude more troublesome.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: 0.5% share threshold
by hangman on Wed 29th Jul 2009 15:34 in reply to "RE[2]: 0.5% share threshold"
hangman Member since:
2007-09-05

I don't like the EC.

Good for you. Now stop derailing the discussion with off-topic whining. There is no doubt that Microsoft has broken the law.

Then there's the double/triple/quadruple jeopardy. How many times is Microsoft to be fined for the same offense? Seems that the EC has fined Microsoft multiple times for bundling IE in the 1990s.

Microsoft isn't being taken to task for BUNDLING IE as such. It's being taken to task for abusing its monopoly in one market to destroy the competition in a different market.

And even if the EU had fined Microsoft for breaking the same law in the past, that does NOT prevent them from finining Microsoft again if the crime continues to be committed! And clearly, Microsoft has continued its predatory practices.

But you are probably recalling incorrectly. They were busted in the U.S.

And this latest incident where the EC decreed that it is illegal for Microsoft to not ship a browser at all?

When did the EC decree that this is illegal? They didn't. They said that simply removing IE was not a sufficient remedy to restore the market. That's not the same as removing IE being "illegal". Jesus Christ, where do you get your nonsense from?

So if they say that it's illegal for Windows to not have a browser, then that's the way it is.

They did not. Stop lying already.

I think the EC is out of control.

Clearly not, since they bust monopolists that break the law.

I think the notion that Windows MUST bundle a browser is absurd.

It isn't. Microsoft BROKE THE LAW, remember?

And, to the point I made in my GP post, I think the EU's decision to choose a ballot browser share threshold that's so tiny, but required to be tiny in order to let Opera sneak in is absurd.

Stop blatantly lying already. The browser share was set to 5%. Opera has nearly 10% in Europe, and is bigger than Chrome and Safari combined.

And I think this ballot screws over any new browsers that may come along. The ballot presents a barrier of entry, but not by Microsoft, but rather government mandated, which is an order of magnitude more troublesome.

WRONG WRONG WRONG.

The ballot will force web designers to code for standards instead of browsers. This means that the barrier to entry is LOWER than it used to be because new browsers will have to waste less time being bug-compatible with other browsers.

In conclusion: You seem to be either extremely dishonest or extremely ignorant. I don't know which. Either way, your straw men, constant repetition of the same old lies from MS HQ show that there is something fishy going on here.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: 0.5% share threshold
by MollyC on Wed 29th Jul 2009 19:15 in reply to "RE[3]: 0.5% share threshold"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Wow, you truly are deluded.
I'll just take one of your foolish statements as an example:



"And this latest incident where the EC decreed that it is illegal for Microsoft to not ship a browser at all?

When did the EC decree that this is illegal? They didn't. They said that simply removing IE was not a sufficient remedy to restore the market. That's not the same as removing IE being "illegal". Jesus Christ, where do you get your nonsense from?
"

Clearly you don't understand how the EC works. When the EC says, "That's not sufficient to restore competition", they mean, "That's not sufficient to be within the law as we see it.", meaning, prepare to be fined if you do that.

I'll deal with one more of your comments. You keep saying "Microsoft broke the law" (and you suggest that therefore, any "punishment", no matter how extreme or stupid, is just, which goes against any modern sense of proper jurisprudence). Microsoft "broke the law", only as determined by the EC, not by an actual trial. Whatever the EC says, goes. THAT's what EU law essentially says.

Here's the difference: In the US, the DOJ filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in court, and went through an actual judicial procedure. Microsoft was found liable, and the judge ordered a particular remedy. Microsoft appealed, the appeals court saw that the judge was an idiot, dismissed him from the case, dismissed his remedy, narrowed the scope of the case, then tossed the case back down to the lower court to be retry the remedy phase under the new narrow guidelines before a new and competent judge. MS and the DOJ then reached settlement that the new judge approved. And, while parts of that settlement have expired, other parts have been extended twice, at the behest of both the DOJ and Microsoft. (Microsoft likes the settlement because it provides guidelines as to what's kosher, and implements a compliance committee that Microsoft run new designs by and get an OK or not-OK before actually implementing the design).

Now let's look at the way the EU works:
The EC announces that they will investigate a company. The EC gathers "evidence" and "witnesses", but is not required to disclose either to the accused for cross examination. The EC then declares guilt, levels an arbitrary fine (the maximum fine is specified by law to be N% of the company's previous year's profits or revenue, but the amount levied below that is arbitrary). The company then appeals the verdit to the EU appeals court. But that court doesn't afford cross examination of evidence either, so it's really a waste of time. The only thing the EU appeals court is concerned with is procedure (like making sure the fine is within the lawful limits). So the EU appeals court rubberstamps the EC verdict, and the company has to live with being "convicted" without due process, without cross examining witnesses, without even a decent appeals process.

Then, people like you declare, "Microsoft broke the law, remember?", without bothering to examine how that verdict was arrived at.


Here's a great quote I found at arstechnica by a user named "Edzo", on the topic of this browser ballot:
http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/07/microsoft-caves-to-eu...

Of course Microsoft caved, what's surprising is that it has taken them this long to realize these are show trials. Once the EU competition commissioner starts investigating, you've already been found guilty.

Reply Parent Score: 3