What with the steep climb of the Euro against the Dollar, I bet MS are wishing they had paid the fine the first time around...
Microsoft is appealing a record European Commission fine for not complying with a milestone European Commission anti-trust ruling. Four months after the Commission ordered Microsoft to pay $1.39bn (899m euro) for not meeting the terms of its original 2004 ruling, Microsoft said Friday it's going to court to seek "clarity". …
If their lawyers believe there are grounds for an appeal and there is a legal mechanism for them to pursue it, then Microsoft are just as entitled to their day in court as anyone else.
However, like anyone else appealing against a guilty verdict, they should be made to serve their sentence IMMEDIATELY and if their appeal eventually succeeds, then they can claim compensation.
The EU should be seizing MS assets to the value of the fine, or banning them from trading within the EU borders until they comply. That might make them think twice about stringing the process out and might even make them reform their anti-competitive ways.
".. calculate how much this would be using the European Base rate?"
well if the fine is roughly 4 years old (2004 original non-compliance date according to the article) then using the CURRENT base rate in EuroLand of 4% (I've no idea what it's 4-yr history is) the fine would go from 899m to about 1050m.
In other words, the kind of sum Steve Ballmer would probably find down the back of a sofa on one of his yachts.
... Microsoft should be afforded every legal opportunity to appeal the decision and to exercise their constitutional rights in seeking justice over his matter.
Of course, accordingly, all purchases of their products and services by public authorities should be unilaterally suspended, free from contractual liability, until such time as those issues are fully and finally determined... :-)
Given their behavious since then (the ISO affair is a good example) the fine was basically *WAY* too low. I'd double it for non-compliance. And again on the next stunt - let them suffer the power of two proper. They can either learn or shut shop in Europe.
Was so glad to discover that here we DO have principles. Microsoft's failure to realise it sooner, used to US way of thinking, cost them a pretty good amount.
Far from everything being rosy in EU, with dark examples abound, having the central Authorities demonstrate such a solid front against prominent capitalist companies gives me a feeling of hope for the future.
One wonders given the high cost of the legal shyster consultant teams ex US and Europa as well for the last four years that would have set them back somewhere between fifty and one hundred million pesetas as well so one would think that M$ is milking the whole exercise to extract the maximum tax corporate offsets possible both in the Euro and US arms for as long as possible hence the excessive feet dragging to avoid settlement for as long as possible !
Microsoft should slap their own hand and impose a sales stoppage of all Microsoft products to Europe for 2 years.
Imagine what kind of hell this would have on the EC markets and business futures.
There is a way for courts to fine companies for something which is debateable; and then there are ways for a court to be as stupid as a 9 year old school drop out and fine rediculous amounts in order to make no real point at all.
They might just get a clue about the difference between a monopoly and the only real product available based on what the consumer needs.
If a company wants us to buy their product, then make it better than what comes out in an operating system. People will buy it. Most people I know don't use Internet Explorer for their browser because it sucks, and doesn't have any good "add-ons". They use a product which is far better.
Quit whining, and produce something better.
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