EU rejects Microsoft offer to settle antitrust charges focusing on media player software

“European Union regulators have rejected as insufficient Microsoft Corp.’s latest offer to settle long-running antitrust charges but are continuing talks, sources familiar with the discussions said Tuesday,” Paul Geitner reports for AP Business. “With a decision from the EU due this spring, the U.S. software giant has been scrambling to avert what could be a far-reaching order to change the way it packages its dominant Windows desktop operating system and reveal more of its underlying code to rival manufacturers.”

Geitner reports, “Spokespeople for the European Commission and Microsoft declined to comment on a report in Tuesday’s Financial Times that Microsoft had offered to include rival media player software on a CD-ROM packaged with personal computers to help resolve the case. Microsoft said only that it ‘continues to work actively with the European Commission toward an amicable settlement in this case.'”

“Sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press Microsoft’s offer had been dismissed by the commission as unsatisfactory but that the search continued for ways to make it acceptable to regulators. Microsoft is trying to avoid an order now in the EU case to remove its Media Player, which is gaining market share at the expense of rivals RealNetworks and Apple Computer. Such an order could also complicate its next planned Windows innovation: incorporating an Internet search engine to compete with Google’s,” Geitner reports.

Geitner reports, “Last year, EU regulators demanded that Microsoft either sell a stripped-down version of Windows or install rival media players.”

Full article here.

17 Comments

  1. Ho ho ho. Microsoft is going to have to hand over billions of � to the EC, which means they will be subsidising French farmers with Bill’s money rather than mine. Excellent result all round.

  2. Dave H:

    Don’t worry, they’ll find another way to squander the cash.

    But more positively, isn’t it a happy day when a governmental organisation beats up on MS as opposed to bending over.

  3. MCCFR, I’m forgetting about the Italian and Portuguese farmers aren’t I? Maybe the EC should hit MS with an absolutely HUGE fine so that everyone in Europe could have a subsidy to squander as we please. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  4. And our (Finnish/European) software (Linux) has less holes than our cheese (European). It is good that some of your (American) companies makes better computers (Apple) and software (Apple) that meets the higher (European) standards (Finland).

  5. That’s the truly great thing about the European Commission. Not one member of it is elected by the public, so no chance of political corruption due to special interest donations.

  6. Europeans are awesome. Cheese (European) is better than most of the crap (American) you can consume. Few computer companies are as good at manufacturing *any* products as Europeans are at making cheese… the exception being Apple of course… I guess it’s only fitting that apples go so well with cheese and Europeans go so well with Apple… Perhaps Apple could make larger inroads in the EU with iCheese�… just a thought.

  7. Just an interesting FYI: I work at a university and we just got word of another virus attack. I went to the Symantec website (on my PowerBook, of course) to look it up and was amazed to discover that there have been 36 viruses detected that attack Windows computers just since February 2! Golly. Imagine that… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  8. Either EU justice is more expensive than US justice, or Microsoft isn’t willing to pay an equal rate ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  9. M$ will not back down and just pay any fines levied against it. Thery have so much money it doesn’t matter to them. Eventually, it will just be a slap on the wrist anway.

  10. They’ll probably offer to give out coupons for buying M$ software or M$ Music. You’l see, they’ll try to take advantage of this, possibly try to leverage a new EU music store… you know, make it look like they’re giving something back to the community.

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