EU court poised for Microsoft antitrust fine ruling

EU court poised for Microsoft antitrust fine ruling

Summary: Microsoft will hear in a month's time whether the European Commission fined the company excessively for failing to comply with an earlier antitrust fine.

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Europe's second-highest court will rule in just over a month's time on whether a fine imposed by the European antitrust regulators on Microsoft was fair.

The European General Court, based in Luxembourg, will rule on the decision on June 27 on a case where Microsoft was fined €899 million ($1.1bn) in 2008.

Microsoft's penalty was a record fine for the time, only to be outdone by Intel who was fined €1.06 billion ($1.4bn) shortly afterward, who coincidentally is going through the same motions almost word for word.

The case goes back to 2004 when Microsoft charged unreasonable prices for access to "interface documents for work group servers".

Microsoft called the fine "excessive" after it was fined due to a failure to comply with the original March 2004 antitrust decision. It was originally fined $1.2 billion for failing to provide its competitors access to its compatibility protocols at a reasonable rate.

It was the first time in 50 years of European competition policy that the Commission had to impose a fine for a company for failing to comply with an antitrust decision.

Microsoft slammed the decision to impose a second, larger fine for failing to pay the original fine. It argued that it wasn't given enough time to appeal, and that it still didn't know how much a reasonable rate it was expected to charge in the first place.

It was though Microsoft was given a punishment without being told exactly how to prevent such actions in the future.

The Redmond-based software giant turned heads this month when it said it would only allow Internet Explorer 10 in the desktop mode of its tablet version of Windows 8, named Windows RT. Both Mozilla and Google publicly accused Microsoft of abusing its dominant position in the browser market, with what could spin into another European antitrust investigation.

EU regulators said it would "keep an eye" on Microsoft, though the Commission isn't entirely sure whether it breaks an existing settlement agreement or not.

U.S. regulators will also decide on whether to probe Microsoft in a full antitrust investigation in the coming weeks.

Image source: Flickr.

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Topic: EU

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30 comments
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  • the fine should be increased

    not decreased as M$ wants.
    The Linux Geek
    • Courts need a reason other than your anti-Microsoft bias

      Otherwise, it's like saying Shell Oil should pay higher fines when it causes oil spills because people don't like the yellow color in their symbol.
      spdragoo@...
      • Stupid analogy - You really should go back to fanboy school

        Maybe todd's bottom can help you out on that. Hmmm?

        ;)
        ScorpioBlack
      • oh look - todd's bottom voted me down 4 times

        Fortunately you can't collapse the post title.

        lol... :D
        ScorpioBlack
      • So how did fanboy school work out for ya?

        Did they teach you how to shill lie real good? ;)
        ScorpioBlack
    • Too many ignorant M$ Fanbois here ....

      Micro$oft, for what they did, must have paid 100 Billions for criminal behaviour !
      Watchmen247
      • Sorry

        LG has that character
        William Farrel
    • Why?

      Bring a solid argument this time not just more of the same "M$ Suks, FOSS rules, Google is my soulmate" rhetoric.
      NonFanboy
      • Because it gets on your fanboy nerves

        That's why. Your silly answer here is proof of that.
        ScorpioBlack
  • EU court poised for Microsoft antitrust fine ruling

    We all know it wasn't fair and that it was excessive The only problem Microsoft has to face now is how much of that earlier fine the EU wants to take for themselves.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • I know no such thing

      So... "we all know" is false, as are the vast majority of statements of that sort.
      John L. Ries
  • Good

    The US dropped the ball and then fell on its face with that eye-rollingly ineffectual "settlement" offer back in 2001 that basically trashcanned a warehouse of evidence against Microsoft and its years of bullying, underhanded, undermining behavior. The EU was initially mostly following the US's lead on the antitrust matter, but the settlement essentially forced the EU to take care of things on its own. You need to look no further than Microsoft's more recent attacks on Linux, from IP claims to that joint craziness with Intel regarding Netbooks, to see how unrepentant and willing to see how much they can get away with things they still are.
    JustCallMeBC
    • Good? Did you read the article or just the headline?

      You realize that the EU court is pondering whether or not it should [b]reduce[/b] the fine that was levied against MS. I know the headline makes it sound like new fines are being considered but the real story is the exact opposite.

      But thanks for posting this. It really puts the rest of your posts in context. You clearly don't think rationally when it comes to Microsoft. Good to know, we will all remember this the next time you post.
      toddbottom3
      • Learning to read, might help you...

        "You realize that the EU court is pondering whether or not it should reduce the fine that was levied against MS. I know the headline makes it sound like new fines are being considered but the real story is the exact opposite."Then why is Microsoft whining about more fines for their refusal to pay the original fines? Maybe Microsoft should finally put their money, where their mouth is, and pull out of Europe?
        "Microsoft slammed the decision to impose a second, larger fine for failing to pay the original fine. It argued that it wasn't given enough time to appeal, and that it still didn't know how much a reasonable rate it was expected to charge in the first place."
        By "enough time to appeal", Microsoft is really saying they want 500 years to pay it. We all know Microsoft has no intention on paying the fines, because they see noting wrong with "kneecapping the competition"
        Jumpin Jack Flash
      • Oh Jack, once again, thank you so much for posting

        [i]Then why is Microsoft whining about more fines for their refusal to pay the original fines?[/i]

        The second, larger fine they are "whining" about was issued and paid in 2008, this isn't a new fine. Microsoft is trying to get a refund on the second fine it paid in 2008. The EU court is deciding whether MS should get that refund, not whether it should fine MS more.

        But please, please, please, keep posting. You do us so many favors when you do.
        toddbottom3
      • Again Trollboy...

        What part of [b]"Larger fine for failing to pay the original fine"[/b] are you not comprehending? You cannot receive a second, larger, fine for failing to pay the original fine, if you did pay the fine... It's called logic, and it works quite well.

        If I push a ford Focus off the edge of a cliff, it's going to fall and be damaged. I will also have to pay the car's owner for said damage. If I fail to pay for the damages, I may have to go before a judge and incur more monetary incentives to not repeat the undesired behavior. Is that too hard for you to comprehend?

        The information is right there, in front of you. Microsoft has said they do not believe they should be finned for kneecapping the competition, and that it's their OS, so their software should work better. Kind of like the Mozilla complaint, Microsoft is artificially tilting the playing field, which is the only way they can win!

        And just a FYI: being in your Mid 40s, and still living in your mommy's house is a bad thing.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
      • Please Jack, promise us you'll never change?

        The hilarity of you accusing others of lacking reading comprehension feels so good today. Please don't ever change, okay?
        toddbottom3
      • Keep wiping todd's bottom, Jack

        He seems to crave it.

        lol... :D
        ScorpioBlack
      • I was mostly paying attention to this

        "EU regulators said it would 'keep an eye' on Microsoft."

        Which is a lot more than what the US has been doing the past 10 years.
        JustCallMeBC
  • Zack

    Your/Microsoft's assertion [i]"It was though Microsoft was given a punishment without being told exactly how to prevent such actions in the future."[/i] never stood up to scrutiny earlier.

    Ergo, it's a little shady of you to come to it in such a manner as it could be concluded as a fact rather than an a mere assertion.

    However, some new court, same pap from Microsoft. Who knows, they may be able to get some cash back. Mind you, to me at least it'd be far more amusing if they thought Microsoft weren't fined enough.
    ego.sum.stig