Monday, October 22, 2007

Microsoft to EU: "Uncle..."

Today Microsoft said that it would not appeal a recent EU anti-trust judgement against it. This means it will allows itself to become subject to fines measured in 100's of millions of dollars, and coercive action to break up software bundling and allow competitor access to it's operating system.

It's a sad day, as this case sets poor precedents for other pending EU anti-trust cases.


Galileo Blogs said...

It *is* a sad day. Reading an article today describing the laundry list of punishments against Microsoft, many of which require the essential surrendering of patents and the giving away of the rest of its intellectual property for chump change, made me angry as hell.

Especially appalling was the ignorant and self-congratulatory gloating of EU antitrust commissioner Neelie Kroes about ending this "dark chapter" in history. It is a dark chapter, but because of her actions, not Microsoft's.

I thought of what Rockefeller might have thought in 1911 when he learned that his great company, the Standard Oil Company, would be broken up by the trust-busters.

Kendall J said...

GB, the list of punishments is stunning. The amount of one fine hasn't even been determined yet. Given that MS has rolled over on its back, if I were a regulator, it would be feasting time. I wouldn't be surprised if it hits $1b all told.

Also, the other item I found particularly reprehensible was that the first ruling imposed a per day fine which continued accruing throughout the appeal. Its basically an ever increasingly painful set of thumbscrews that make MS hesitant to appeal again. I am stunned that this fine can carry through an appellate court and still apply.