Microsoft Meets EU Deadline; More Fines Still Possible

European Union antitrust regulators last week confirmed that Microsoft had met the Thanksgiving Day deadline for submitting revisions to the technical documentation the American developer was ordered to produce by a March 2004 ruling. The documents will be evaluated and the protocols they outline tested, the EU's Competition Commission said Thursday. Additional fines may yet be levied if the material doesn't meet muster.

"The commission will decide in due course whether or not Microsoft is in compliance with the obligation to provide complete and accurate technical documentation taking into account comments from the potential licensees and advice from the trustee," EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said in a press conference Thursday. That evaluation process, added Todd during a Q&A session, will probably take "months, rather than weeks." He refused to set a timetable.

Microsoft responded with a statement touting its turning over the last of the required documentation to the commission. "This is another important step in the process," Microsoft said. "The trustee and Microsoft have now completed the technical review and edits to the more than 100 documents, totaling 8,500 pages, that we submitted in July of this year, in accordance with the deadline established by the commission."

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yizuman: back around the 1790s, the United States had difficulty getting its ambassadors seen by European heads of state because they found the concept of paying a bribe to some official of the court to gain access to be reprehensible. To Europeans, it was just the way diplomacy worked.

Over 200 years later, many things of changed. The regions known as Germany and Italy are now unified countries. England no longer dominates European politics. The Ottoman Empire is gone, as are the Russian Czars.

People however still pay bribes for access. The bribe may be going to different government official, and the purpose may have changed some what (economic vs. diplomatic) but it's a bribe just the same.

--h

Quote - Andareed said @ #4.1
How is this bribery? The EU is punishing MS for non-compliance. Fines are (supposed to be) designed to be a deterrent.


MS finally complies, but I'm sure they will find something to add another fine (bribe) onto MS's tab

Quote - z0phi3l said @ #4.2


MS finally complies, but I'm sure they will find something to add another fine (bribe) onto MS's tab

this isnt bribery. last time i checked... fines were a required or forced payment... bribery is not a required process. And besides, you dont ASK for a bribe... it happens when someone is trying to get out of something... i can see where you got the idea... but the EU didnt ASK Microsoft to bribe them, they fined them. two completely different things . This is more of a case of blackmail or extortion than anything.

Yeah, about those regulations...

I'm waiting for all the beach front property that's going to be available in Belarus when the EU sinks beneath the Atlantic from the sheer weight of the red tape it generates. If being "more civilized" means living with a bloated, over regulated bureaucracy that can't seem to agree on the definition of 'beer', then give me my cave back.

This is not to say that Bill Gates little enterprise is a martyr being put on a cross. Microsoft is certainly guilty of a degree of foot dragging, and should comply. I find it amusing however watching these two make what should have been a fairly straight forward affair into an ordeal that the consumer gets absolutely no benefit from to speak of, and the actual of purpose of which appears to be keeping international lawyers and bureaucrats employed.

--h

Of course they will still fine MS anyway and pretend they're not satisfied with the submission in order to make money off them as much as they can. :rolleyes:

Well, Redmond has been dragging its feet for 2.5 years in hopes that this would get swept under the rug like the USDOJ vs. MS case. This is very cut-and-dry, all MS had to do was either comply or leave the market. I'm not a fan of all of the EU's laws in this case but I'm glad that they at least have the balls to enforce their regulations. I wish we had that same resolve on this side of the pond. Remember that competition is good for the industry plus the consumer and that is why the EU (and previously the the USDOJ) has been going after MS on these types of infringements.

Before anyone starts talking about the 'greedy' Europeans wanting a fine, just remember that the amount of these fines is just a mere pittance to both MS and the EU. I think what is more at stake here is principle.

Quote - lbmouse said @ #1.1
Well, Redmond has been dragging its feet for 2.5 years in hopes that this would get swept under the rug like the USDOJ vs. MS case. This is very cut-and-dry, all MS had to do was either comply or leave the market. I'm not a fan of all of the EU's laws in this case but I'm glad that they at least have the balls to enforce their regulations. I wish we had that same resolve on this side of the pond. Remember that competition is good for the industry plus the consumer and that is why the EU (and previously the the USDOJ) has been going after MS on these types of infringements.

Before anyone starts talking about the 'greedy' Europeans wanting a fine, just remember that the amount of these fines is just a mere pittance to both MS and the EU. I think what is more at stake here is principle.

Uhh, from what I keep reading, Microsoft is meeting the deadline, even if they maybe dragging their feet about it, and yet is getting fined for not meeting it... how does this work?

There really is no point in fining Microsoft if they are complying...

Quote - Sierra Sonic said @ #1.2
Uhh, from what I keep reading, Microsoft is meeting the deadline, even if they maybe dragging their feet about it, and yet is getting fined for not meeting it... how does this work?
Uhh, no offense but maybe you should read something other than MS press releases. Here is the EUROPA press release:
In December 2004, the Court of First Instance (CFI) rejected a request from Microsoft to suspend the application of the March 2004 Decision. Microsoft subsequently committed to and missed a number of deadlines for delivering complete and accurate specifications.
Quote - Sierra Sonic said @ #1.2
There really is no point in fining Microsoft if they are complying...
...and they won't be fined if they are FINALLY found to be in compliance:
The Commission will decide in due course whether or not Microsoft is in compliance with the obligation to provide complete and accurate Technical Documentation taking into account comments from the potential licensees and advice from the Trustee. ... Microsoft’s work has been supervised by the Monitoring Trustee, Professor Neil Barrett, a computer expert suggested by Microsoft and appointed by the Commission to monitor and advise the Commission on Microsoft’s compliance with the March 2004 Decision (see MEMO/06/119).
The ball has always been in MS's court. All they had to do was comply, leave the EU market, or pay the fines. Hopefully this last round of documentation puts them into compliance and then we can leave all of this behind us.