- 03-06-2013, 03:56 PM #1AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Union has fined Microsoft€561 million ($733 million) for breaking a pledge to offer personal computer users a choice of Internet browsers when they install the company's flagship Windows operating system.The penalty imposed by the EU's executive arm, the Commission, is a first for Brussels: no company has ever failed to keep its end of a bargain with EU authorities before.
In 2009, Microsoft Corp. struck a broad settlement with the Commission to resolve disputes over the company's abuse of the dominance of Windows, which had spanned more than a decade.
Back then, the company agreed to pay €860 million and promised to give Windows users the option of choosing another browser rather than having Microsoft's Internet Explorer automatically installed on their machines.
But Microsoft failed to stick to the deal for some 15 million installations of Windows 7 software in Europe from May 2011 until July 2012. The company admitted the failure last year, adding that it was a mistake.
EU fines Microsoft $733M for breaking browser pact - Yahoo! News
Well this very strange and interesting
- 03-06-2013, 04:07 PM #4(Reuters) - The European Commission imposed a $730.78 million fine on Microsoft on Wednesday for breaking a pledge to offer European consumers a choice of web browsers.
Here are some key events in Microsoft's relationship with EU antitrust regulators:
1998 - The European Commission opens an investigation into Microsoft over operating system interoperability issues, after a complaint from Sun Microsystems.
2000 - The Commission begins investigating the tying of Microsoft's Media Player with its operating system.
2004 - Regulators impose a 497 million euro fine on Microsoft for not making data available to rivals and for tying Media Player to its operating system.
2006 - The Commission levies an additional 280.5 million euro fine for Microsoft's failure to comply with the 2004 EU order to provide data to rivals.
2008 - Regulators open two new investigations, one into interoperability issues, and a second intobrowser choice.
2008 - The Commission imposes a 899 million euro fine, its second additional penalty, after Microsoft again fails to comply with the 2004 EU order.
2009 - Microsoft settles the 2008 investigation into browser choice with an offer to allow access to rival products.
2012 - Europe's second highest court reduces the 2008 fine to 860 million euros from 899 million euros, on appeal by Microsoft.
2013 - Competition regulators impose a 561 million euro fine for not complying with the 2009 promise on web browser choice.
Sources: European Commission, Microsoft
($1 = 0.7677 euros)
Looks like those pension cuts for Spain and Greece aren't going to happen after all
- 03-06-2013, 04:19 PM #5
- 03-06-2013, 04:24 PM #6
03-06-2013, 04:25 PM #7
- 1,288 Posts
The EU must think that the masses are completely computer illiterate if they feel that people can't install their own software. I don't see why MS should not bundle its own software like Media Player or IE with their own OS. I personally don't use those and just install my own stuff after installing Windows.
- 03-06-2013, 04:36 PM #9
- 03-06-2013, 09:49 PM #12
The EU also forced Apple to offer micro-USB adapters with the proprietary Lightning adapter that came with the iPad 4 and iPhone 5.
Finally, Facebook was also forced to stop recording facial features of its users in Europe because it violated EU privacy laws.
Xkcd is funny but it's not right about everything. The EU don't go after corporations out of the blue, or because they have a vendetta. They have to be alerted to potential violations of EU law by the public. In Face book's case, a group of Austrian students had to threaten a class action lawsuit before the EU noticed and launched an investigation.
The DOJ didn't launch its antitrust case against MS in the 90s out of the blue. They were alerted to the issue because Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle) filec a complaint.
if you think Apple should offer a browser choice for iPads in Europe, by all means, file a complaint.
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- 03-07-2013, 03:11 PM #13
Well we found the real Culprit to why this happened
03-15-2013, 11:55 AM #15
- 488 Posts
03-15-2013, 11:57 AM #16
- 488 Posts
Also, if I remember right, MS didn't just bundle IE with Windows, they actively took steps to break other browsers.
- 03-20-2013, 01:07 PM #18
- 03-20-2013, 03:12 PM #19
So MSFT has to include every other internet browser available with its OS so end users can decide which they want when installing the OS? So who is responsible for any problems that may arise from one of those other browsers not working properly?
How many browser choices are there to choose from when installing OSX? Ubuntu? Chrome laptops?
Nah, no bias here at all.
03-20-2013, 05:07 PM #20
- 354 Posts
What many people don't consider is that MS was in a monopoly position (and still is in the desktop OS world) at the time of the original ruling. Companies that are considered to be a monopoly are held to a different standard than companies with actual competition. Also, at the time, the Internet was not as big as it is today. A browser was still considered an optional piece of software and so was an Internet connection. MS was looking to the future and trying to be innovative by incorporating the ability to use Internet technology such as HTML help files and other documentation into the OS, but again, they were a monopoly so it was viewed as unfair to competing browsers.
Today we have Apple suing everyone for technology that they didn't even invent and locking customers into their services. We also have Google intentionally breaking what are supposed to be "open and free" Internet services (Google maps, YouTube, Google email via EAS) for specific competing devices (windows phone). However, those companies are not considered monopolies in the current tech economy and therefore, by law, it's just considered normal cut throat competition.
Is it fair? No, but the idea behind anti-monopoly laws isn't to be fair. The idea is to limit or cripple the big guy to prevent them from completely crushing any remaining competition at the consumer's peril. Having said that, I think 733 million dollars is more than a little excessive for this situation.
- 03-25-2013, 08:38 AM #21
I wonder what would be said if Microsoft got sued for not allowing other browsers on their windows phone (and actually lost it too), despite having less than 20% market share, what would that be considered as then? Not saying it is going to happen, but just food for thought.
- 03-25-2013, 08:56 AM #22
Combine the EUs nonsense with The Apple and Samsung Tablet wars in the courts blocking distribution of tablets and you have Surface. There's more to the Surface initiative than meets the eye. Microsoft had to change distribution models to avoid patent trolls attacking third-party tablet vendors and regulatory politics like the EU.
- 03-29-2013, 06:26 PM #23
The reason the DOJ case was successful was partly because of timing. The internet was the new paradigm of computing in the mid 90s and there were plenty of powerful companies lobbying hard to ensure no one company became too powerful in that space. MS also screwed themselves because of the very public way they squeezed out Netscape Navigator with Internet explorer.
Don't forget that at one time both the DOJ and the EC wanted Microsoft split up entirely. MS should have offered to quietly settle the case and make IE optional from the get go. instead they let the case drag on for years, with testimony about anti competitive behavior splashed all over the news, which gave them a highly tarnished reputation among consumers. Enterprise and Wall St wasn't too bothered of course...at the height of the tech boom MS was the world's most valuable company by market capitalization.
It certainly didn't help that IE6's 90pct plus market share gave them an excuse to let IE6 stagnate between 2001 and 2007. Enterprise may have been locked into IE6 to ensure compatibility with various SaaS applications, but there was nothing stopping MS from developing an updated version and marketing it for home use. I remember downloading Firefox in 2004 and thinking, this is fantastic. Younger people might take tabbed browsing as a given today but back then it felt like the future and made MS look like a dinosaur.
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