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EU Fines Microsoft $613 Million, Officially 1186

Posted by timothy
from the golden-goose-time dept.
Decaffeinated Jedi writes "As reported by CNN.com, the European Union has hit Microsoft with a record US$613 million fine after a five-year investigation, finding the company guilty of abusing the 'near-monopoly' of the Windows operating system. Microsoft has been given 90 days to make a European version of Windows available without a media player and 120 days to give programming codes to rivals in the server market to allow 'full interoperability' with desktops running Windows. Microsoft plans to appeal the decision." Other readers point to coverage at the BBC, ZDNet, Reuters (here carried by Yahoo!), and abc.au.net.
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EU Fines Microsoft $613 Million, Officially

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  • Quite right too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zoney_ie (740061) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:17AM (#8654909)
    Media player being bundled costs the consumer money even if they don't want it. It also allows Microsoft to further leverage its market position once WMP is ubiqitous!
    As for the 'orders' on API documentation? Woohoo.

    Microsoft is the perfect example of how capitalism needs a tight rein for it to work to the benefit of people, not big corporations!
  • by randalx (659791) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:17AM (#8654910)
    poor SCO lawyers might have to take a pay cut now. :(
  • by toesate (652111) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:17AM (#8654913) Homepage Journal
    Quote BBC [bbc.co.uk]: Microsoft has a cash pile of more than $50bn, so even a fine on this scale - a record for the EU in an antitrust case - is unlikely to hurt it commercially.

    How can the punishment serve a deterent, if the fine does not hurt??

    • by zoney_ie (740061) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:21AM (#8654956)
      90 days to sell a version of Windows minus WMP. AND they must ensure there's no disincentive to those buying it (e.g. negligably cheaper, or more expensive all told).

      120 days to provide FULL documentation on Windows code interfaces? EXPLICITLY to help their competitors have a level playing field on the Windows platform?

      The precedent set by this and implications for the future?

      OW! I think it hurts a LOT. Plus being 'ordered' to do stuff really dents the pride and knocks the wind out of them.

      The implication too is, "we could have gone for 10% of revenues", watch yourself.
    • by mccalli (323026) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:24AM (#8654988) Homepage
      How can the punishment serve a deterent, if the fine does not hurt??

      Because the fine is not the punishment. That's just the wrist-slap, although admittedly it's a harder one than normal. Because of the high value the press are focusing on this, but it's not the real action.

      No, the meat of this decision is the forcing of the unbundling and the opening up of specifications. That's the punishment, not the cash.

      Cheers,
      Ian

      • I'd say that the fine is definitely intended to get media attention, though the EU can surely put the cash to good use. As you say, the real punishment is forcing the unbundling and opening up the specs.

        Perhaps more to the point, there is the unstated (by CNN, at least) threat of further action and/or fines if the deadlines are not met. Well, that's how I interpret "they've been given 90 days to comply", anyway... Now that the punishment has been handed out, it will be a lot easier to increase the fine f

      • by jsebrech (525647) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @03:55PM (#8659700)
        Actually, the fine is the punishment, and the release of documentation is the remedy.
    • Think of the $614mil as a mosquito bite. Get enough of em together, and eventually, you're scratching like crazy to deal with the itchiness of the bites. And there's always a chance that one of those bites will cause malaria or West Nile (equivilent to the market freak-out that subsequent fines could cause).
    • by groomed (202061) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:47AM (#8655234)
      The purpose isn't to destroy companies. Destroying a company like Microsoft would hurt customers even more than monopolistic practices. That would be diametrically opposed to the intended effect of the ruling.

      Also, $613 million is a serious figure. Nick Leeson broke the Barings Bank in the '90s on of just over twice that amount. Enron (partly) collapsed over a $563 million deficit. Remember, it's not like those $50 billion are in a big jar that everybody can take some of when they feel like it. Divisions are accountable, managers are accountable, books have to be kept. Combined with the other rulings, this should be understood as a severe penalty for Microsoft Europe.
    • by EpsCylonB (307640) <eps@NOSPam.epscylonb.com> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:51AM (#8655275) Homepage
      Microsoft has a cash pile of more than $50bn, so even a fine on this scale - a record for the EU in an antitrust case - is unlikely to hurt it commercially.

      I think people saying that this amount of money is nothing to microsoft are being a bit naive. Just because MS can afford it doesn't mean that they don't appreciate the fact that this is still a hell of a lot of money. The last thing MS wants is a precedent that whenever they get caught for breaking a rule the local government is entitled to take $500 million off of them.
    • Because the punishment is about law, not about money.

      It will be a reference point for all the governments that could wish to sue Microsoft.

      Landmarks in the judiciary system are important. The EU ruling is the first one concerning Microsoft.

      And some people at the Comission just asked to apply the highest fine, ie 10% of the benefits. But the EU can't afford an open war like that, at least not for the moment...

      Regards,
      jdif

  • Unbelievable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Space cowboy (13680) * on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:18AM (#8654917) Journal

    Microsoft claims that it should not be fined at all because it did not know its behaviour would breach EU law.


    Right. Of course they didn't know. They just set up shop in a different country and assumed that US law would prevail. What's wrong with that ? (Hint: lots!)

    Another quote:

    "In the EU's judgment, Microsoft must refrain from using any commercial, technological or contractual terms that would have the effect of "rendering the unbundled version of Windows less attractive or performing. In particular, it must not give PC manufacturers a discount conditional on their buying Windows together with the Windows Media player."


    Well, no wonder they're going to appeal, that removes 90% of their business practice!

    Simon.
    • Re:Unbelievable (Score:5, Insightful)

      by iapetus (24050) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:20AM (#8654941) Homepage
      Whether they knew or not (and if they didn't, they should fire their legal department) is irrelevant. Ignorance of the law is not seen as a valid excuse for breaking it.

      I wonder who'll be picking up their copy of the relevant code in 120 days to help with Linux coding efforts to provide Windows interoperability? :)
      • Re:Unbelievable (Score:5, Informative)

        by dabadab (126782) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:32AM (#8655078)
        "I wonder who'll be picking up their copy of the relevant code in 120 days to help with Linux coding efforts to provide Windows interoperability?"

        No one, since it is explicitly stated that they are ordered to release API info, NOT source code.

      • by Decaff (42676) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:42AM (#8655182)
        Let's hope that the APIs that are published reveal as much embarrassing nerdy amateurism in MS as the release of undocumented APIs in previous versions of Windows. Who can forget the function names BEAR35, BUNNY73, PIGLET12 and the classic PRESTOCHANGOSELECTOR?

    • Re:Unbelievable (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:48AM (#8655247) Homepage Journal
      How many times have I told a cop "I didn't know that was illegal..." when I got busted. You know what they always told me? "Ignorance is no excuse"
  • by Wacky_Wookie (683151) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:19AM (#8654928) Homepage Journal
    $613m is a lot of money, but will Microsoft try to use cupons, or "donate" software to schools, thus locking in more Microsoft users from a young age?

    If the EU is smart it will force Microsoft to donate to CASH to open source, or educational groups, thus allowing people to break the Monoply by their own choice.
  • why WMP ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by selderrr (523988) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:19AM (#8654931) Journal
    Does anyone else consider it a bit weird that they're using Windows Media Player as bait ? That's a division where there's at least some competition from Quicktime and Realplayer. The browser war was a far more dirty one IMO, and microsoft is STILL making it practically impossible for competitors to integrate their browser properly over IE.

    And what about the java fuckups ? The Samba debacle ? The OEM backmailing ?

    I don't get it....
    • Re:why WMP ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Azghoul (25786) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:23AM (#8654977) Homepage
      Al Capone murdered a couple people here and there (and ordered a couple other killings), participated in every sort of organized crime... they took him down for tax evasion.

      When you know someone is evil you get 'em on whatever you can manage.
    • Re:why WMP ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by klaasb (523629) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:27AM (#8655021)
      WMP is where the next battle will be fought.

      ITMS vs. MSMS (MicroSoft Music Store).

      I don't want my music in .wma format.
      • Re:why WMP ? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by caitsith01 (606117)
        And I don't want my music in any format related to Quicktime.

        Do you think uncle Steve will oblige, just because he's from a somewhat smaller, trendier company?

        I am so sick of this 'Apple is the underdog' bs. WMA sucks. Apple's formats also suck in a number of ways, although perhaps not quite as many.
    • Re:why WMP ? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by subjectstorm (708637) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:39AM (#8655156) Journal
      well, think about it. why not WMP? is there any technology out there growing faster than digital media right now?

      The RIAA and their counterparts can sue whoever they like to protect cds as a viable distribution method (this is what they really want to do, regardless of what anyone says), but digital content is here right now and it isn't going away. I think everyone knows this.

      The EU is picking this particular "feature" of Windows to blast MS on simply because of its relevance to future markets. And besides . . . why do you think MS bitched so much about having to take it off? If it was an innocent thing, they wouldn't have built it into the OS as a component (they did do that, yes? I know for sure IE is) AND they would have just taken it off when asked to do so.
    • Re:why WMP ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eyeye (653962) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:49AM (#8655257) Homepage Journal
      Hmmm.. good point...
      if only there was a european competitor to IE ready to start making a fuss,

      ahah.... we have a candidate [opera.com].

    • Doesn't matter (Score:5, Informative)

      by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @10:02AM (#8655376)
      If releasing the full Windows APIs is part of the deal, it should be possible to provide a Mozilla based DLL to replace the IE one. Ditto Opera and others. If enough functionality is released to allow WindowsUpdate to work, any browser war will be formally over.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:20AM (#8654937)
    Before you all start moaning that EU is anti-American, note that the complaint was made by Sun & Real (both american companies) which resulted in this ruling.
  • by 110010001000 (697113) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:21AM (#8654944) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft will appeal, and the EU courts estimate it will take 5 years until a decision is made.
    • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:34AM (#8655103) Homepage
      in a front-page article a couple days ago that it has not yet been decided whether the remedy will be put on hold during the appeal and MS has to lose the appeal for the remedy to go into effect, or whether the remedy goes into effect now and MS has to win the appeal for the remedy to be redacted.

      They said a judge had a forthcoming ruling on that issue. It seems quite possible to me the ruling would go in favor of the government, since it is quite clear that a remedy that begins in five years would be as good as no remedy at all-- it is quite easy to look at how quickly the tech market moves and how quickly MS has been able to take over previous previous tech markets once they start putting the veritcal-monopoly moves on, and argue that if the remedy waits for the end of the appeals process, it will be too late to do anything to help the competitors the remedy is meant to address.

      Whether this has changed since then I do not know.
      • On the other hand (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Per Abrahamsen (1397)
        If MS has to disclose their API's *now*, it won't help them much if they win the case in five years, and get told that they don't need to disclose them anyway.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:43AM (#8655196)
      An appeal doesn't mean you walk scot-free during the process. If I'm found guilty of murdering 50 people, I can appeal but I'm not going to be set free to walk the streets just because I appealed the verdict. The only way I can be set free is if the appellate court agrees to suspend the sentence and it's unlikely to do so in this case. So Microsoft will either comply pending an appeal or have their EU assets seized landing a few of their EU execs behind bars in the process
  • by mrdaveb (239909) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:25AM (#8654997) Homepage
    Sadly the appeals and whinging are likely to drag on for many years.
    Hopefully the EU will be able to make the ruling stick in the end. The fine may not be all that much to MS, but being forced to unbundle Media Player, etc could have quite an effect on their future strategies.
  • Time lines (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amichalo (132545) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:25AM (#8655001)
    Aren't the time lines for these things rediculous? From the time an investigation starts, trail is held, conviction is appealed and re-tried, it takes about a decade to exact "justice" on an international corporation.

    In the meantime, the victims such as smaller competing firms and consumers have long since picked up the pieces and moved on. The companies at the amepx of it all aren't even relevant anylonger (Netscape?).

    Until the law can put some spring in their step, a $600 Million fine 10 years after putting awa your competition is paultry.

    Break up Microsoft - THAT is the solution!
  • *cough*yeahright. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brian Kendig (1959) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:26AM (#8655008) Homepage
    $613 million? Oooh, not. That's pocket change to Microsoft, who has a war chest of billions of dollars -- but of course this won't stop it from passing the cost along to its customers, and blaming the EU for increasing the price of Microsoft products.

    In the end, this court decision isn't going to amount to anything. Competition has already been hurt. Customers aren't going to want to pay the same price for a version of Windows without WiMP. Competitors won't be given access to Microsoft's API's; MS will appeal and drag this out for a very long time. And in the end it will ignore the court orders, just like it did in the US, knowing that its punishment will be yet another lengthy court process which it can drag out and then ignore again, all the while telling its customers that government is trying to raise prices and stifle innovation. Maybe it'll even try to settle by again offering to install Microsoft software in schools for free (until the license has to be renewed in a few years, that is).
    • by RoLi (141856) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @10:19AM (#8655537)
      $613 million? Oooh, not. That's pocket change to Microsoft, who has a war chest of billions of dollars -- but of course this won't stop it from passing the cost along to its customers, and blaming the EU for increasing the price of Microsoft products.

      You sure don't understand basic economics. The vendor will charge whatever the market is willing to pay, no matter how much it cost to make the product.

      That's why about 90% of the Windows- and Office-prices is pure profit while they are losing money on XBox, WinCE and many other things.

      If anything, the punishments will lower prices for Europeans because of increased competition. Just look at Thailand where Microsoft dropped their Win+Office prices from 600$ to 37$: http://www.linuxinsider.com/perl/story/32110.html [linuxinsider.com]

      Always remember: Only the loyal customers get ripped off. Those who for example run their servers on Unix get huge discounts (like Munich)

  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:26AM (#8655015) Homepage
    This sounds like the most important part to me. What does this mean? The CNN article is incredibly vague. Is MS allowed to place restrictions on the licensing of this "program code"-- i.e. forcing anyone who looks at code to sign an NDA saying, say, they won't use the information in a GPLed product? What do they define by "in the server market"? Is this just saying MS has to make its WMA code available, or is this Windows in general?

    If the latter, that's absolutely fantastic. That means we could start seeing 100% compatible versions of Wine, freed from the difficulty and endless trial=and-error of duplicating an API where so much is undocumented and "bug compatibility" is so crucial.

    If the former, that this means MS has to divulge the necessary information for third parties to be fully compatible with WMP serving, that's not quite so interesting.

    Incidentally, I want to nominate this as the most bullshit argument MS apologists have ever put forth, ever.

    Analysts say by forcing Microsoft to offer a version of Windows XP without Media Player, consumers could pay higher costs.

    "If it were to be obliged to offer versions both with and without Media Player, then that would mean we would probably have double the number of consumer PC configuration in our shops. Of course this is product that is built before it is sold," says Brian Gammage from computer consultancy Gartner.


    Wow. So Microsoft using Windows revenues to subsidize a hugely complex and unnecessary movie player and set of movie codecs doesn't increase costs to consumers, but Microsoft having to print up two differing sets of cheap cardboard to sell in stores does. Amazing.
    • by dabadab (126782) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:38AM (#8655143)
      No, MS is not required to release any code, just the API, and from the sound of it, they are expected to make it freely available.
      Here is the EU press release [eu.int], that should be more accurate than that various news agencies make up.

      • by Johnny Mnemonic (176043) <mdinsmore.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @10:39AM (#8655739) Homepage Journal

        In order to restore the conditions of fair competition, the Commission has imposed the following remedies: As regards interoperability, Microsoft is required, within 120 days, to disclose complete and accurate interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers. This will enable rival vendors to develop products that can compete on a level playing field in the work group server operating system market. The disclosed information will have to be updated each time Microsoft brings to the market new versions of its relevant products. To the extent that any of this interface information might be protected by intellectual property in the European Economic Area(6), Microsoft would be entitled to reasonable remuneration. The disclosure order concerns the interface documentation only, and not the Windows source code, as this is not necessary to achieve the development of interoperable products.

        Sounds like to me that they would have to provide the APIs (not the source!) to the SMB file sharing protocol, and, for instance, allow anyone, including Macs and Linux, to work seamlessly with Active Directory and Exchange. Note: Microsoft will be able to "reasonably charge" for that information. Personally, I think this is a big thing for getting OS X into the Enterprise; I can certainly forsee Apple paying for that access.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:27AM (#8655027)
    The point is that the EU is trying to make MS less anticompetitive. That would set an excellent precedent, and is what Ballmer & Co. object to so strongly.

    This is something that should have been done here in the US long ago, but unfortunately our government is for sale to the highest bidder.
  • EU statement.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by volgers (545215) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:31AM (#8655056) Homepage
    Read the EU press release from their own site (in your own language): http://europa.eu.int/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p _action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/04/382|0|RAPID&lg=EN&disp lay= [eu.int]
  • Assuming MS Pays... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CGP314 (672613) <CGP@ColinGregory ... net minus author> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:32AM (#8655074) Homepage
    Where does the money go after Microsoft pays? To charity? To the gov't?


    -Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]
  • by polyp2000 (444682) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:33AM (#8655088) Homepage Journal
    This is completely offtopic, but dont mod me down because it is in some way related (at least in the UK)

    I tried to post this article but for some reason it was rejected in favor a completely pointless article about firewire and video cameras!

    Anyhow it is important and should have been accepted!

    to briefly put it;

    Anyone here interested in Open Source, and supporting it in UK
    government should digest this document and send your support/comments/insight

    heres the link [govtalk.gov.uk] with downloads and stuff.

    Its an important document and those here interested should read it and post related comments/ suggestions to the email address on that page.

    What they are seeking to do is support evaluate both Open Source and Proprietary solutions; whilst doing their utmost to avoid vendor lock-in ; as is the case with Microsoft bundling IE & WMP (etc) with windows.

    The document is an Open Draft, that means that right now it is not set in stone, and liable for change. If anyone here reads it and thinks it should be changed in anyway I would advise letting them know.
  • Troll -1 :) (Score:5, Funny)

    by joonasl (527630) <joonas DOT lyytinen AT iki DOT fi> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:36AM (#8655114) Homepage
    "Steve Balmer commented, that the fine imposed by the EU is completely unreasonble, considering that you can buy a president in the US with much less." [opensecrets.org].
  • You fail it (Score:4, Informative)

    by Johnny Mnemonic (176043) <mdinsmore.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:39AM (#8655155) Homepage Journal

    I RTFA, and I didn't see: what happens if they don't comply, or comply 1/2 and it's found that it doesn't cut it?

    And this will be a bigger story if/when the sanctions immediately apply, instead of being enjoined until the end of the appeals process. Could go either way, I guess; but the first wouldn't allow Microsoft to play a waiting game.
  • Charge for Code? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jameth (664111) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:50AM (#8655266)
    Is there any information on how they have to release that code? I recall them being forced to release documentation of APIs in the US for a reasonable license, which they set at around a hundred grand, fifty if you decided to not use it after a look.

    Will the EU allow that crap too, or will it realize that Microsoft's largest competitors are likely to be OSS developers and a hundred-grand license would be about the same as not actually releasing it to their competitors?
  • by Balaitous (126540) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:54AM (#8655307) Homepage
    By allowing Microsoft to charge royalties on implementing interoperability interfaces when they are covered by patents ot other titles, it makes it impossible for a free software project to implement interoperability. The Commission once again shows that it cares only for competition ... among multinationals.
    For the Europeans: this is one more reason to reject software patents. "Encore un effort ..."
    Curiously the French version of the press release says "reasonable and non-discriminatory" while the English only says only "reasonable". I guess that's meant to please the French and Microsoft at the same time :-)
  • by thrill12 (711899) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:55AM (#8655312) Journal
    ...that in a time when incredible shortcomings of Microsoft's OS are found, some of you actually talk about 'American/European (skewed) relationships' and how 'unfair this is to an American company'.

    For once look at the big picture, and forget that Microsoft is an American company, and the EU filed a European verdict:
    Microsoft is a major global player in an international market ruled mainly by European and American companies together.

    In this playing field it is only fair that a referree - no matter if US or EU - rules when a player crosses the legal line.
    It is to the benefit of both the Europeans as the Americans in the long term, and we will pick the fruits of this decision in time.
  • by bfg9000 (726447) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:56AM (#8655322) Homepage Journal
    ...but the only reason this is a "record" fine is because our own government CAVED IN and let them off the hook after a decade-long trial. After spending a *huge* amount of money in court, the US government sternly told MS they had to promise to release a service pack.

    If our government had stuck to its guns from the first time of many that MS was taken to court, the tech landscape here would be vastly different, I think. Hey, BeOS might even be alive, and Linux and Macs would CERTAINLY have more momentum than they do!

    Even if MS pays this in cash rather than software, it's still pocket change, currently sitting happily in the MS account and earning them interest. So they won't earn as much interest this year. Big deal. This won't change anything. At best it's less money for MS to pay SCO with.
  • Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by edxwelch (600979) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @10:01AM (#8655371)
    We will soon see a new set of installation dependancies for .NET framework, MSXML, etc.:
    "Requires Microsoft Media Player 9.0, greater to run".
    Well, it worked the last time!
  • by flogger (524072) <non@nonegiven> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @10:03AM (#8655378) Journal
    NPR this morning was stating that Microsoft will appeal (Wow that is a suprise). They said that an Appeal could last up to seven years. In that time, longhorn v2 will be out and support for XP will be cut off. This will make the case a moot point. Even if they loose the appeal, Microsoft won't pay.

    Swift justice, it seems, works just as fast in Europe as it does here. :-)
  • Doing the math ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by danwiz (538108) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @10:21AM (#8655566)
    Microsoft's annual revenue is $30 Billion dollars. (Information Week [informationweek.com])

    The EU fine is $613 Million.

    $613 Million / $30 Billion = 0.024

    So ... they fined Microsoft roughly 2% of one year's sales. This "proportionate" and "balanced" ruling was because the "near-monopoly" tried for several years to "shut competitors out of the market". (quotes are from the EU Commission)

    This is how losing 2% of my gross income would impact me on a weekly basis.
    (myGrossIncome * 0.02) / 52 = myWeeklyImpactIfFined

    So what do you casually spend more than 2% of your gross income on? Lunch? State sales (or VAT) tax? Gasoline? Porn?

    The fine is neither harsh nor effective. Anyone want to take a guess at how much the competitors have lost every year?

  • by loconet (415875) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @10:26AM (#8655602) Homepage
    According to NZHerald [nzherald.co.nz] and independent.co.uk, some members of parliament are not happy with the EU's decisions.

    "This ruling is yet another example of the EU assaulting a successful American industry and policies that support our economic growth," said US Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Microsoft's home state of Washington. She called on President George Bush to "engage" with Brussels on the case.

    ...another rexample of EU assaulting another a poor defendless honest american corporation? awww ..pfft!. it seems more like an example of how much control MS and any other big corp has over the American government.

  • by Guspaz (556486) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @10:50AM (#8655854)
    I'm hoping somebody can clear this up. Does this mean that Microsoft has to help out projects like Samba so that Linux can communicate with Windows over SMB? Or does it extend all the way to helping Wine run Windows apps on Linux?

    Personally, I hope it extends all the way. Imagine the Wine team not only having access to the Windows source (They sort of do now due to the leak, but they can't do anything with it), but being given legal permission by the government to use it, with Microsoft's help!

    So, can somebody clear up how far this extends?

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