European Union threatens new Microsoft fines

“The European Union on Thursday threatened Microsoft Corp. with fines of up to $4 million a day, claiming the software giant had failed to live up to promises for providing affordable and useful information that could help rivals make software for workgroup servers compatible with its Windows system,” Raf Casert reports for The Associated Press.

“‘This is a company which apparently does not like to have to conform with antitrust decisions,’ said EU Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd,” Casert reports.

“Under a landmark 2004 antitrust ruling by the European Union, Microsoft had to disclose complete and accurate interface documentation on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, allowing its competitors to interoperate with Windows PCs and servers,” Casert reports. “Under a ‘statement of objections’ released Thursday, the EU’s executive Commission said there was ‘no significant innovation’ in the requested information.”

“‘Microsoft has agreed that the main basis for pricing should be whether its protocols are innovative,’ said EU Antitrust Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement. ‘The Commission’s current view is that there is no significant innovation in these protocols. I am therefore again obliged to take formal measures to ensure that Microsoft complies with its obligations,’ Kroes said,” Casert reports. “Microsoft has four weeks to reply to the Commission after which the EU could impose fines going as high as 3 million euros ($4 million) a day, Todd said.”

Full article here.
Give ’em a break, EU. Poor Microsoft. Everybody knows Microsoft is incapable of innovation, so stop with the unreasonable demands!

Related articles:
Microsoft caught off-guard, beaten badly by Apple’s iPhone innovations – February 13, 2007
TIME Magazine: Microsoft’s Windows Vista ‘an embarassment to the good name of American innovation’ – February 02, 2007
Bill Gates lists Microsoft ‘innovations’ that Apple has offered Mac users for years – January 30, 2007
Pioneer Press: Windows Vista shows ‘Apple is an innovation engine; Microsoft, not so much’ – January 29, 2007
Dave Winer: ‘Microsoft isn’t an innovator, and never was – they are always playing catch-up’ – December 01, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista: If you can’t innovate… try to impersonate Apple’s Mac OS X – August 10, 2006
Ballmer: I’m Microsoft’s ‘primary champion of innovation’ – July 27, 2006
Innovative Apple has changed the course of the personal computer revolution many times – April 02, 2006
Apple Computer consistent innovator again and again over 30 years – March 26, 2006
Apple Computer No. 1 on Fortune’s ‘Most Admired for Innovation 2006’ list – March 14, 2006
Imitating Apple Computer is no match for innovation – January 17, 2006
Apple’s talent and innovation vs. Microsoft’s hype – October 25, 2005
PC World: Microsoft innovation – an oxymoron – September 14, 2005
Apple Computer tops The 2005 Wired 40 list of companies leading tech innovation – April 25, 2005
Charles Arthur: Microsoft’s definition of ‘innovation’ different from everyone else’s – April 27, 2004


  1. “Innovation”, btw, does not mean “invention”. Asking a company to innovate is like asking a human to breathe- it’s a requirement for survival. Microsoft should be fined just for taking up space, these days.

  2. Don’t cheer too loudly. The EU is the new Soviet Union now moved to Brussels. They are also coming after Apple. It may well be true — hell, it is true — that Microsoft is a corporate thug, but that is not the reason the EU goes after them. The EU goes after successful American companies because the socialist gangsters are always in protectionist mode. They are also going after Apple.

  3. Now Gates & Co. will have to learn to convert dollars to Euros.

    (Remember how Billy Boy flubbed a European interview, when asked why Vista was so much more expensive in Europe, he mumbled something about not staying on top of currency conversion rates.)

  4. Qka wrote:
    “Now Gates & Co. will have to learn to convert dollars to Euros.”

    No! Now all currency should be converted to POINTS! POINTS, I tell you!

    MW=maybe, as in maybe I’m nuts – NUTS, I tell you!

  5. “… had to disclose complete and accurate interface documentation on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, allowing its competitors to interoperate…”

    wtf? I’m certainly no M$ fan, but what the hell are they asking for here? Gates is becoming quite a regular revenue stream for the EU. Does M$ have to allow beaurocrats in the EU to decide what pricing is fair for their own products? M$ is not a utility, it’s a software vendor. There are other choices. Are they seriously requiring Gates & Co. to be innovative? I don’t speak lawyer, somebody please translate.

    I hope that the EU doesn’t start to revamp Apple’s pricing structure to whatever the committee thinks is “fair” this week. It’s past time for businesses in the EU and elsewhere to slip out of Microsoft’s noose and USE SOMETHING ELSE, rather trying to change to change a bad company to a good one by legislation.

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