Microsoft loses anti-trust appeal

Microsoft has lost its appeal against a record 497m euro (£343m; $690m) fine imposed by the European Commission in a long-running competition dispute.

The European Court of First Instance upheld the ruling that Microsoft had abused its dominant market position.

A probe concluded in 2004 that Microsoft was guilty of freezing out rivals in server software and products such as media players.

Microsoft has two months to appeal at the European Court of Justice.

"The Court of First Instance essentially upholds the Commission's decision finding that Microsoft abused its dominant position," the court's statement said.

Microsoft's top lawyer said it was important now for the company to comply with EU competition law, but that it had not yet decided on its next legal steps.

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If I am correct, all Microsoft needed to do to avoid the fine is to provide information needed for competition to be able to create software that would be inter-operable with their mostly server software. They have failed that several times and played dumb. You see, if anything, it is not moral for a vendor to lock-in their customers to their software only. And in EU, after you are being warned about this, if you continue to play dumb and continue to ruin other companies, you get fined. EU is simply protecting their interest, ie companies from EU. What's wrong with that? The whole world can not be governed by American idealism, and the reason why can clearly be seen in Iraq.

BTW, Microsoft was supposed to give user a choice over default applications they use when installing Windows. What's the big deal of providing a few check boxes when installing Windows, where the user could make his choice. My opinion only.

When the iPhone comes out in the UK tomorrow it better not have iTunes preinstalled - or at least offer the option not to have it installed - so then I can install what I want to use as my player - no? isn't this what Apple argued , Microsoft were pre installing WMP and it was unfair on windows?

Exactly. Talk about a monopoly. Apple actualy locks the iPod/iPhones so no additional software can be installed right? You can only use Apple's iTunes with their players correct? Wheres the outrage? Why has MS not taken Apple to court? Oh yea, they compete. Zune player, possible iPhone like device in the wings.

I'd love to see this remedy applied to other industries. Buying a car would be a scream.

Well, to be expected from the major supporter (and bankroller) of HD DVD.

People decry Sony yet MS is convicted in 2 continents and gets a free pass.

What is with the patriot force? America convicts Microsoft of mopolistic policies, all is well - god bless America for protecting the great citizens from evil monopolists (I bet they were of European descent too!). The EU does and they're anti-capitalists money whores who will ruin their economy - its pathetic, I doubt many Europeans waste their time crying when a European company is convicted to American courts (I didn't exactly cry when British Airways was fined by the DoJ - and they've got a patriotic name, unlike Microsoft!). I find it funny that so many people feel the need to jump in on prove America is the greatest country on earth, its almost as if they don't really believe it, well - keep saying it, it might come true.

As for Microsoft leaving the EU, thats their right but clearly they don't see they will gain much by doing it.

I'm sure people understand once you get so big, you play by different rules, kind of like America ignoring international law & playing by its rules around the world

As far as I'm concerned this has little to do with a love of Microsoft or a need to prove anything about America. I will ask again, does the eu require other companies to share trade secrets with their competors? No, they don't. This is the eu bullying Microsoft, and no one like a bully, even when the target is MS.

The consumer has made a choice, MS is the winner. There are other viable OS's, (Linux and OS X come to mind), and they may be a better product than Windows. None of that matters. Windows is the OS of choice for the vast majority of the world. I'm curious, did any real people complain to the eu about Microsoft or was it just companies that compete with them?

Now the eu is going after Intel. I loath Intel for their business practices. Nevertheless, the eu has no right to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from them.

<As for Microsoft leaving the EU, thats their right but clearly they don't see they will gain much by doing it.>

Not now, probably never. But it would be a good tactic. It would bring the eu to it's knees.

<kind of like America ignoring international law & playing by its rules around the world >

Uh, yea. Lets see, you are awash in a sea of immigrants who are rapidly changing your very culture. Riots in France, bombs in Spain and London. Death threats over cartoons in your newspapers. Sorry, I don't see how following the rules set by the un or the eu is any better, one could make an argument that following the rules as you have has had far worse results...........

I don't mind bundling. I just want to be able to remove the components, not hide them. So nobody remembers 95 and 98 where you could choose not to install a component?.

I want that feature back.

Yeah, that'd be nice. Either way, it doesn't bother me. If it did, I'd just go to a torrent site and pick up a stripped down version of Windows and just keep my key.

thats what real choice is it about, too bad EU dont realize it yet, well somehow microsoft getting punish for their ilegal actions its a good thing ot dont fix anything.

Is anybody else tired of boho's Ron Paul for president advertisements? He seems convinced that the United States is bankrupt. The United States or any G8 country for that matter can never go bankrupt. They have tons of assets in the country they built. Boho is hilarious and delusional.

Ron Paul is the only choice in 08. I've watched almost all of his speeches, and he is one of the last true defenders of the Constitution.

Amazing. Can't compete in the real world? Just take your competitor to court. Who uses Real Player? Oh yea, no one. Can't be because it sucks, no it's Microsoft's fault. Please. MS needs to leave Europe. Let them move to open source, fine, be out of sync with the rest of the world. Asia is the growing market, not Europe. This is a way to steal money from MS, nothing more nothing less. And I agree with the other poster, the US government needs to respond in kind to Europe. As boho said, "Reap what you sow Microsoft; lets see how the EU likes when it comes back to get them...........

wubi21 said,
Amazing. Can't compete in the real world? Just take your competitor to court. Who uses Real Player? Oh yea, no one. Can't be because it sucks, no it's Microsoft's fault. Please. MS needs to leave Europe. Let them move to open source, fine, be out of sync with the rest of the world. Asia is the growing market, not Europe. This is a way to steal money from MS, nothing more nothing less. And I agree with the other poster, the US government needs to respond in kind to Europe. As boho said, "Reap what you sow Microsoft; lets see how the EU likes when it comes back to get them...........


since when has America been the rest of the world ??? you do realise the EU is a massive collection of countries with a equal massive amount of money , saying pull out of Europe is just pathetic there's more than just Americans in the world you know and they are trading in Europe so they have to obide by their laws its that bloody simple lol

<you do realise the EU is a massive collection of countries with a equal massive amount of money > The eu is a collection of failed empires (spain, UK, France etc) with a growing number of second and third world countries. Massive amount of money? Yes, of which nearly $1 Billion it has stolen from MS.

<more than just Americans in the world you know> Yes as I listed in my post, it's called Asia. Compared to S. Korea, China, India and Japan the eu is very small potatoes.

<they are trading in Europe so they have to obide by their laws its that bloody simple>
Or simply stop trading in Europe. Of course then you would take them to court for that as well. If MS did withdraw from the eu within 6 months the eu would be begging MS to come back. If they wanted to stay even the least bit competitive they would have no choice.

Tell me, does the eu require Renault to share trade secrets with Fiat? I bet not. Do they require Coca Cola to share their secret formula with Pepsi? Again, no. But the eu says MS needs to share everyhting with all of their competitors, no matter how little the consumer wants their product. How many copies of Windows-N have been sold? oh yea, none. Do you really think other companies aren't watching this as well? The eu is getting ready to go after Intel and Rambus now. Keep it up eu and one day no one will do business with you.

Like it or not, Micrsoft Windows in all of it's flavors is the defacto standard for OS's around the world. In my opinion, Windows has nearly reached the point of being a commodity, like oil or food. If you want to survive, let alone compete in the world today you deal with Windows. And the eu is playing a very dangerous game. The instant it costs more to opperate under the eu than the profit they can make MS will withdraw from Europe. Then we will see who is lol..........

wubi21 said,
<you do realise the EU is a massive collection of countries with a equal massive amount of money > The eu is a collection of failed empires (spain, UK, France etc) with a growing number of second and third world countries. Massive amount of money? Yes, of which nearly $1 Billion it has stolen from MS.

<more than just Americans in the world you know> Yes as I listed in my post, it's called Asia. Compared to S. Korea, China, India and Japan the eu is very small potatoes.

<they are trading in Europe so they have to obide by their laws its that bloody simple>
Or simply stop trading in Europe. Of course then you would take them to court for that as well. If MS did withdraw from the eu within 6 months the eu would be begging MS to come back. If they wanted to stay even the least bit competitive they would have no choice.

Tell me, does the eu require Renault to share trade secrets with Fiat? I bet not. Do they require Coca Cola to share their secret formula with Pepsi? Again, no. But the eu says MS needs to share everyhting with all of their competitors, no matter how little the consumer wants their product. How many copies of Windows-N have been sold? oh yea, none. Do you really think other companies aren't watching this as well? The eu is getting ready to go after Intel and Rambus now. Keep it up eu and one day no one will do business with you.

Like it or not, Micrsoft Windows in all of it's flavors is the defacto standard for OS's around the world. In my opinion, Windows has nearly reached the point of being a commodity, like oil or food. If you want to survive, let alone compete in the world today you deal with Windows. And the eu is playing a very dangerous game. The instant it costs more to opperate under the eu than the profit they can make MS will withdraw from Europe. Then we will see who is lol..........

That's not true! Windows XP N edition sold 1,500! :P

Agree.
Windows comes with WMP and IE;
while Mac OS X comes with iTunes, QuickTime and Safari,
why only Microsoft need to take the responsibility?

Maybe EU is a big fan of Apple Inc., eh? :suspicious:

P.S. I am a Chinese, but I think boho is just attacking the others.

Am.. Because Microsoft is monopoly. When Apple will have more than 90 per cent of markets it will have the same problems. It's monopoly... And Apple doesn't effect much world market.

Gundamdriver said,
Agree.
Windows comes with WMP and IE;
while Mac OS X comes with iTunes, QuickTime and Safari,
why only Microsoft need to take the responsibility?

Maybe EU is a big fan of Apple Inc., eh? :suspicious:

P.S. I am a Chinese, but I think boho is just attacking the others.

I'm with you there. I find Apple to be a lot more restrictive than Microsoft. Hell, even their new iPhone doesn't allow for 3rd party devs. You're forced to use whatever comes with the stuff you buy from Apple.

Many other OS's bundle Media Players.

IMO, Microsoft should be allowed to lock down their Software as hard as they want.. at the end of the day, they made it, bought it or are licensed to use it..

It's not just about Media Player, its about a convicted Monopolist
who have learned nothing!
This has been going on for over 3 years!
"What goes around comes around."

"Wake up America!"

Dan.P said,
IMO, Microsoft should be allowed to lock down their Software as hard as they want.. at the end of the day, they made it, bought it or are licensed to use it..

Surprisingly enough there are other factors to consider and the EC has declared Microsoft's activities to be unlawful. It doesn't matter what YOU think should be allowed - what matters is whether the LAW allows it. What you are propsing is akin to saying you should be free to stab someone because YOU think it's okay, despite what the law says.

If Microsoft hadn't flouted anti-competitive regulations then it wouldn't have been fined. People can claim the EU/EC is greedy all they want but if Microsoft hadn't done wrong in the first place then they couldn't have been fined. I just hope the EC also takes on Apple, another company that is abusing the market place and restricting customer choice.

You sir, are a Troll, and an ignorant one at that!

Microsoft earn a lot of money from European countries, if they want to
be a player, they HAVE to play by "our" rules. We call them "The Law"

If you come from the US, please look at your balance of payment deficit.
I would like to point out that the US is bankrupt (more than just financially too!)
You need all the foreign exchange you can get, to stave off the (inevitable)
collapse of the Mighty Dollar. You have lived beyond your means too long.

150 years ago, our British Empire screwed you, until you woke up! Now
the boot is on the other foot. How does Imperialist nation feel when in
terminal decline? "God bless America"... as few others will!

Tip, save your country, elect Ron Paul as your next President! It is your only hope!

boho said,
You sir, are a Troll, and an ignorant one at that!

Microsoft earn a lot of money from European countries, if they want to
be a player, they HAVE to play by "our" rules. We call them "The Law"

If you come from the US, please look at your balance of payment deficit.
I would like to point out that the US is bankrupt (more than just financially too!)
You need all the foreign exchange you can get, to stave off the (inevitable)
collapse of the Mighty Dollar. You have lived beyond your means too long.

150 years ago, our British Empire screwed you, until you woke up! Now
the boot is on the other foot. How does Imperialist nation feel when in
terminal decline? "God bless America"... as few others will!

Tip, save your country, elect Ron Paul as your next President! It is your only hope!

HEY, BOHO...

Thanks for telling me about Ron Paul. I didn't know anything about him until you said something in here. All I had to read was.. "wants to abolish income tax." He sounds like a great guy. I"m gonna check him out more before I start my endorsement. Personally, I was going for Fred Thompson. :-)

Anything to do with the European Union will end up costing you megabuck$ - as the citizens of the UK have been discovering to our cost...

Some retaliatory action in the US courts would seem in order here!

What can US courts do? The US economy is bankrupt, it needs
every penny of exports it can get! It's only the fact that
the (petro)Dollar was "chosen" as the world currency, artificially
held there by oil purchases sold in dollars. Google "PetroEuro"
and understand why Iraq, Iran and Syria are "the devil" and then
Google "Amero +dollar"... My (three) Amigos ;-)

Of course Microsoft could stop selling it's products to European
countries, now that would be interesting for both Microsoft an
the majority of the rest of the world!

"Welcome!"... Open Source

boho said,
What can US courts do? The US economy is bankrupt, it needs
every penny of exports it can get! It's only the fact that
the (petro)Dollar was "chosen" as the world currency, artificially
held there by oil purchases sold in dollars. Google "PetroEuro"
and understand why Iraq, Iran and Syria are "the devil" and then
Google "Amero +dollar"... My (three) Amigos ;-)

Of course Microsoft could stop selling it's products to European
countries, now that would be interesting for both Microsoft an
the majority of the rest of the world!

"Welcome!"... Open Source

Wow, you might want to look into some therapy...