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  EU declares 497 million Euro penalty on MS  (Read 3134 times)
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Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Posted 2004-03-23 10:13:17 »

A local news article on this topic: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/45919
Anybody with an english one?

This is not a high penalty for Microsoft, but it could be the beginning of more: hopefully the EU continues to fight monopolies as hard as they can.

The interesting point and why I'm posting the article here: this process took several years of investigation and has been started by an (official) complaint by SUN at the EU because of MS misuses their desktop PC monopoly to try to dominate the server market, too.

So... way to go. Good job, SUN.
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 422
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-03-23 10:36:22 »

M$ earns that in under two months and apparently this represents less that 1% of its revenue hoard.

And who gets the money? All the little companies M$ has shafted? Too late, too late....

Cas Smiley

Offline endolf

JGO Coder


Medals: 7
Exp: 15 years


Current project release date: sometime in 3003


« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-03-23 10:43:57 »

Hi
 Both The Register and Slashdot have english versions of this story.

Endolf

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Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-03-23 11:32:59 »

Quote
M$ earns that in under two months and apparently this represents less that 1% of its revenue hoard.

Usually those having the most tend to be very stingily (like Donald Duck's uncle you know :-).
Also ~500 million are ~500 million, which means: a nice sum. :-)
I really think it's only the beginning. Take it as sign.

Quote
And who gets the money? All the little companies M$ has shafted?

You're absolutely true. However it's better than ... nothing I suppose.

Quote
Too late, too late....

Better late than never.


PS: Thanks Endolf for the english versions of the news.
Offline Jens

Senior Devvie




Java for games!


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-03-24 05:51:17 »

It would be much more helpful, if MS opened up their format specifications. In their monopoly situation and our communication driven world, proprietary formats automatically mean that others are (to some extent) forced to use their software.

Xith3D Getting Started Guide (PDF,HTML,Source)
Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-03-24 09:32:39 »

Quote
It would be much more helpful, if MS opened up their format specifications. In their monopoly situation and our communication driven world, proprietary formats automatically mean that others are (to some extent) forced to use their software.

Yes.
The EU penalty has officially been published today. Read more on a local news article:
http://www.golem.de/0403/30496.html

Also the EU obligates MS to publish parts of their APIs regarding server software.
Furthermore, within 90 days MS must offer PC dealers the opportunity to ship Winblows without the media player. This is good.

Hopefully again it's only the beginning... The EU shouldn't stop with that mediaplayer monopoly but continue with the browser sector, the e-mail one, IM, net meeting, and of course your mentioned "dominance by formats / Office".

And not to forget: the whole process has been started years ago by a complaint from SUN at the EU. Thanks Sun. Thanks for that, for Java, for Staroffice - which brings a smart Openoffice to me, too. :-)
Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Devvie


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-03-24 09:52:41 »

Not going to happen.  Predictions:

  • Microsoft will appeal the decision, and entrench for years of legal wranglings.
  • The lawyers will request that the penalties are put on hold for the duration of the appeal.
  • If this is denied, they will still hold off, forcing the prosecution to start another case to force them to comply or face penalties, which will then get caught up in the previous action and also stall.
  • The case will run long enough to become irrelevant, and then be largely dropped - possibly with an obligatory slap-on-the-wrist to prove who won.  Which will then be appealed.


Something to think about: When does a car manufacturer not recall a vehicle that has a life-threatening defect?  The answer: when the cost of the recall is greater than the likely damages awarded to the families of those who die - it's pure economics.  So:

Q: When does a company ignore the legality of its actions and refuse to submit to the whim of the courts?
A: When the profit to be made in the intervening years far supasses both the legal costs and the likely final penalty.

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-03-24 10:09:20 »

I think MS products should not be allowed to be sold in the EU until the issue is resolved Smiley  That will prevent them from dragging it on with appeals Cheesy

Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-03-24 10:58:15 »

Well, let's wait and see. It's good sign anyway, I think. There's hope.

Mario Monti, the italian head of the EU anti-trust department, has a nickname: Super Mario. :-)
I really loved the Mario games on SNES... ;-)
OK, during the end of the year he'll quit the department, but probably his efforts won't be for nothing.

PS: Swpalmer's suggestion sounds Solomonic. :-)
Offline Jens

Senior Devvie




Java for games!


« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-03-24 11:33:52 »

Quote
I think MS products should not be allowed to be sold in the EU until the issue is resolved Smiley  That will prevent them from dragging it on with appeals Cheesy


Grin Grin

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Offline pedro

Junior Devvie




Java games rock!


« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-03-24 15:25:31 »

I am not sure at all whether it's fair to fine Micro$oft, after all, we always have choices (to exclude WMP form Windows doesn't seem to benefit constumers either) and I never felt technology was someone's monopoly.. but meanwhile, have you guys seem this http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/03/24/news_6092082.html?

Does anyone know what XNA involves? Is there a Java equivalent of such platform for game development?


Pedro.
--
I guess this if off-off-topic, which makes off-topic and so it's ok :p

Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Reply #11 - Posted 2004-03-25 12:52:36 »

Quote
I am not sure at all whether it's fair to fine Micro$oft, after all, we always have choices

We have no choices. However I don't want to discuss this topic now again. :-)

Here's the EU press release on that topic: http://europa.eu.int/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/04/382|0|RAPID&lg=EN&display=

Don't miss this passage:
Quote
The investigation

In December 1998, Sun Microsystems, another US company, complained that Microsoft had refused to provide interface information necessary for Sun to be able to develop products that would "talk" properly with the ubiquitous Windows PCs, and hence be able to compete on an equal footing in the market for work group server operating systems.

The Commission's investigation revealed that Sun was not the only company that had been refused this information, and that these non-disclosures by Microsoft were part of a broader strategy designed to shut competitors out of the market.
Offline Golthar

Junior Devvie




;)


« Reply #12 - Posted 2004-03-26 10:28:45 »

I think the fine is icing on the cake here.
What I would like to see is:

-Microsoft opens standards and API's to the platforms.
No buts, no ifs (no royalties as was suggested)

-Microsoft has to deliver a stripped down windows without Media player, without IE, without Outlook and without .NET
They should however be allowed to distribute a complete version too.
Why?
I use Mozilla, Mplayer and winamp, Mozilla email and Java...why whould I "pay" for something I don't use?

come visit us: http://www.otf1337.com
Offline Jens

Senior Devvie




Java for games!


« Reply #13 - Posted 2004-03-27 12:30:16 »

Microsoft has published a document to "compare" MS Office vs. OpenOffice:

http://members.microsoft.com/partner/salesmarketing/opensource/discguides/OpenOffice.pdf

This thing is in the news today. It's really funny to read. I don't know if they are that stupid or if they think people want to hear something like that. Why aren't they honest and simply say, that they have a monopoly and no one besides them can fully support their proprietary document formats.  Smiley

Xith3D Getting Started Guide (PDF,HTML,Source)
Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Reply #14 - Posted 2004-03-27 13:15:46 »

Quote
It's really funny to read. I don't know if they are that stupid or if they think people want to hear something like that.

MS aren't stupid, they just know how stupid people are and how you can fool them all day.

In 1995 a well known German magazine named "Focus" did an interview with Bill Gates himself. It's in English, since the magazine's interviewer did it in English, before it's been translated to German: http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/17.44.html#subj11
PS: It's no joke!

This interview explains representatively why Gates & Microsoft suck. If they produced nails it wouldn't be such a problem because you could buy nails from another company, but no you can't when you're tight to an IT monopoly dominating the world's IT.
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #15 - Posted 2004-03-27 21:17:06 »

Heh, that article is kinda funny.
Reminds me of a story from a friend who started working at an IT company and had to call MS for reporting a bug as a kind of an initiation.
It was like:
Friend: "I'd like to report a bug in Word. When you have an CR at the end of a document, the CR won't be saved in the document"
MS: "Could you send me such a document?"
Friend: "Eh, sir?"
MS: "Could you send me such a document?"
Friend: "That won't be possible."
MS: "Why not?"
Friend: "Because the CR won't be saved."
MS: "If you can't reproduce the bug, than there's nothing we can do about it."
Friend: "But..."
MS: "Sorry sir, we can't help you. Good day."

That was the short version of the conversation. The bug was actually a real bug in at the time in Word. Everybody who started working in that company had to call MS Support to find out they are of absolutely no help :-)
No wonder 1% of MS' phonecalls are bug reports.

Erik

Offline JasonB

Junior Devvie





« Reply #16 - Posted 2004-03-28 03:30:07 »

Quote
U.S. lawmakers also lashed out at the ruling, asking regulators in Brussels to reconsider their decision to levy an unprecedented fine of $613 million. In a letter to European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti, 10 members of the House International Relations Committee said the federal litigation against Microsoft had resolved outstanding antitrust problems and jointly cautioned that it was of the "utmost importance" that the United States continue to take the lead in overseeing American companies' business practices.

(From http://news.com.com/2100-1083_3-5179698.html?tag=nefd_lede)

So it's okay for US companies to do business outside of the US, but if they do something wrong then it should be up to the US to police them?  I don't think so (especially considering the US justice department's prior record of complete incompetence).  That comment is so ridiculous, I think the EU parliament (or whatever it is called) should record themselves laughing and send it back in reply.
Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Reply #17 - Posted 2004-03-28 14:59:18 »

Well, it's all pretty obvious... :-)

"US politicians complaining about EU decision collected $25,000 from Microsoft": http://theinquirer.net/?article=14974
Offline Jens

Senior Devvie




Java for games!


« Reply #18 - Posted 2004-03-29 11:19:02 »

As a diplomatic solution I suggest, that the "all-American company Microsoft" only sells their software in the US.  Smiley

Is it really true, that US politcians accept money from Microsoft and then write a letter to the EU? Isn't this a pretty dangerous concept?

Xith3D Getting Started Guide (PDF,HTML,Source)
Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Reply #19 - Posted 2004-04-23 11:49:31 »

300 page PDF describing the EU-case:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/competition/antitrust/cases/decisions/37792/en.pdf
(No, I haven't read it yet :-)
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