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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.
If I had to sum this up in a single word, it would be: "ouch!" Even to a company as huge as Microsoft, that's not exactly pocket change. Obviously it's meant to be a punitive amount, but how do you come up with this value?  And of course, you know none of it will go to the people Microsoft allegedly gouged on royalties.    Full article text here.

LONDON - The latest episode in Microsoft's tempestuous relationship with the European Competition Commission ended with a bang Wednesday, as Commissioner Neelie Kroes slapped down an 899 million euro ($1.35 billion) fine on the company for not completely complying with an antitrust ruling that dated back to 2004. It is by far the largest EU fine ever imposed on a company.  (I'm sorry, does that say ONE point THREE BILLION?  DOLLARS? whoa...)

The fine, which Microsoft will probably pay, is entirely retrospective, relating to a period of "non-compliance" before Oct. 22, 2007. It relates to the "unreasonable prices" the Commission is claiming Microsoft charged, before that date, to other software developers for access to documents that explained how they could create software that interfaced with Microsoft servers.  (This confuses me. I never had to pay a dime for that kind of information. It's everywhere, seriously... )

Shares in Microsoft were up 0.3%, or 7 cents, at $28.45, at midday.  (Which means, nobody in this country seems too concerned by the announcement.)
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 3:09 PM General Interest | Back to top

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