$243 million and counting

Microsoft shrugs off the EU's threatened fine, for now. How much does it take to make a large multi-national corporation stand up and take notice?
Written by Ed Burnette, Contributor on

Is 2 million Euros (~$2.43 million USD) "real money" to Microsoft? That's how much the EU is threatening to fine Microsoft every day that they're out of compliance with the EU's anti-trust decision last year.  Someone once worked out that it wasn't worth 4 seconds of Bill Gate's time to pick up a wallet with $500 laying on the sidewalk. $2.43 million works out to only about $112 per wallet. (Of course it's odd that in this story nobody considers that he might want to *return* the wallet.)

Well, how about $243 million? It's been 100 days since the EU's decision in December, and the fine will be retroactive. That's almost 1/4 of a billion dollars. There are some signs that MS may be taking this thing more seriously. But still, they made many times that much in profit last year.

If the EU had been smart they would have made the fine exponential. Like the king that pledged a grain of wheat on the first square of a chessboard and doubled it on each succeeding one, even Microsoft would have had trouble making it past a few weeks.

Or as Everett Dirkson would say, "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money".

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