Originally Posted by trueg50
While no I don't know exactly what is at hand don't group me in with the "others" I actually do have an understanding of the things at hand, and even an understanding of the paragraph and english. The Kremlin was the headquarters of the Politburo, the elite rulers of the USSR.
The EU has been doing this on a regular basis, Microsoft multiple times, plus the one (or is it several) cases brought up against Intel that all have to do with regular (possibly dirty) but very common business practices.
The primary issue I have is this, the allegations are on "Price Gauging".. what is that supposed to mean? Considering the massive amount of money that goes into developing an operating system, and the support that has to be available with it, I am surprised I can get Vista for $80.
There in lies the issues with the EU, as with Intel, in this case they fail to see that the operating system market is a technological monoply, as with processors; and that at those times you can regulate things to a degree, but you cannot just try and beat the larger company to make it more equal to the smaller company.
Also, any word on what that money goes to?
A HUGE PARTY!!! It's going to be amazing! Champagne, voulevonts, pineapple and cheese sticks, a bouncy castle...
lol anyway I think what they're arguing is that Microsoft were told to allow other developers information to allow their products to interface with windows servers or something. Three years later, they still hadn't obliged, so they fined them, then extended the fine, so it accumulated into 1.4 billion.
The order demanded Microsoft provide its competitors' servers the ability to connect to the Windows platform. In order to facilitate this, it ordered Microsoft to charge reasonable royalties for network connectivity information.
After thorough investigation, the EC found that Microsoft had failed to comply with the ruling last year, bringing the first in a series of fines for the company. The company was the first in 50 years of EU competition policy to be found in violation of an antitrust ruling. To date the result has been 1.68B â‚¬ in fines total ($2.6B USD).
A spokesman for the EC, Jonathan Todd defend the decisions, saying that the courts clear upheld that Microsoft had refused to comply with the ruling for 3 years. Says Todd, "The commission is confident that the decision to impose the fine is legally sound."
The EU says that between July 2006, and October 2007, Microsoft's refused to comply during its legal fight against the EU, making it eligible for the increased rate of fines of approximately $3.83M a day, for each day of non-compliance. The new fine announced by the EU for this period sums up to $1.4B USD (â‚¬899M).
The fine marks the largest antitrust fine in international history, and a record judgment against Microsoft.
Microsoft indicated it is willing to accept the fine, though, commenting that the fines were about past issues and that the company is now operating under revised principles that make its software more open. Microsoft twice reduced its patent rate and information license rate, last May. Finally in October it reduced its rates even further, offering new license for interoperability information for a flat fee of $14,000 and an optional worldwide patent license for a reduced royalty of 0.4%. The October reduction appears to be satisfactory in the EU's eyes, though the initial reduction was not.
Sorry for the long post of quotes, they're all dailytech articles, so they're pretty biased to be honest.
Basically the EU is all for small businesses operating in a market without a monopoly, companies like Microsoft and Intel will be heavily scrutinised, as they are effectively monopolising their parts of the industry. Whilst their business practices may be legal in the US, they're not in the EU, hence the fines. Microsoft will have to learn and change their business practices in the EU (which it looks like they've done).
Sucks though, cos it will no doubt raise prices in the UK even more, and 1.4 billion just seems insane