02.13.09

How Steve Ballmer Was Schmoozing Neelie Kroes

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, Samba, Steve Ballmer at 10:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dinner table

IN its top-secret presentations, Microsoft explains what "schmoozing" is. It’s a subversive and disingenuous strategy for causing harm to one’s rival. Here is a transcription of the Neelie Kroes press conference where she admitted Ballmer having schmoozed her in her hometown. It came up in a Q&A session whose transcript is the only source on the Net, the wire services (& tech publications that quoted them) which had paraphrased the fact.

Neelie Kroes: When the court ruling was published, we got in touch, and Mr. Ballmer and I found each other in a small restaurant, so to say, there it all started, nobody could find out where, or whatever, and there we were indeed promising each other that there should be a compliance of what has to be done much earlier.

18:13 (Antonio)

Q: I hope Microsoft paid the bill in the restaurant (laughter), but my question is on the fine. You may not have decided yet on the amount you may impose, if any, to Microsoft but please try to help us just avoid any present misinterpretation,miscalculation. What is, as of yesterday, the highest level of amount you can impose on Microsoft?

Neelie Kroes: I will be back with the news when we have taken that decision. Absolutely. I mentioned already today that anyhow — and that is a certainty, and there are not that many certainties in life, as you aware –that from today on, there is no reason to impose further penalties on Microsoft as of this Monday, the 22nd.

In 2006, Ballmer and Commissioner Kroes had been negotiating for some time and she had clearly thought there would be progress, until the day Ballmer suddenly published her e-mail correspondence on the Microsoft PressPass site without her consent, claiming “transparency”. She hit the ceiling and it was downhill for Microsoft from there.

“She hit the ceiling and it was downhill for Microsoft from there.”Ballmer had already annoyed her by making an unannounced visit and press conference around the corner from her office in Brussels in January (see coverage here and also here). He also held a secret meeting that day with Commissioner Viviane Reding, noted on her Web site agenda and picked up by one of the wire services, but no one connected those dots. That meeting was completely missed by the press, but Bloomberg may have had some coverage at the time.

The secret restaurant date with Commissioner Kroes in October 2007 was really damage control — she agreed to end the daily fines, but withheld what the actual daily fine amount would be. This was later announced in February 2008, the very day Microsoft was in Geneva helping to ram through OOXML [1, 2]. She was crystal clear that at least two other investigations of Microsoft were underway, a fact overlooked by the totality of the mainstream and tech press who generally reported the latest browser tying statement of objections as a “new” investigation.

Related posts (2007):

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/02/13/steve-ballmer-eu-visits/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 12: A Worthy Successor to His Mentor?

    We examine the role of Christoph Ernst in EPO management, both in the Benoît Battistelli era and the António Campinos era (plenty to hide)



  2. USPTO for Monopolies, Keeping GNU/Linux in the Dark

    Growing evidence of gross discrimination against GNU/Linux (or Free software, even BSD/UNIX) users at the USPTO is too hard to ignore; some people out there challenge the Office over this travesty



  3. Accessibility and Availability First

    To make Techrights more widely accessible and more difficult to block/censor we've been making further changes, including self-hosting where possible



  4. Self-Hosting Videos With Free Formats and Animated Previews, Watermarks/Logos and Translucency

    We examine the power of video editing with ffmpeg, chained with command-line scripting and HTML5 features



  5. Links 10/4/2021: Linux on M1, Wine 6.6, ClamAV 0.103.2

    Links for the day



  6. Lunduke: On Mob Justice in the Tech Industry

    A new video from the former Microsofter who fears the phenomenon that’s adopted by companies like IBM



  7. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 09, 2021



  8. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Appendix (Benoît Battistelli's Vichy Syndrome): Georges Henri Léon Battistelli and Charles Robert Battistelli

    Local copies with evidence of or something concrete about Benoît Battistelli’s connection to unsavoury — and by today’s standards outright fascistic — politics



  9. IBM Doubles Down on Masters Being an Acceptable Word in the Context of Technology

    3 days after this post which disproves IBM's stance or shows its double standards it once again says “Masters” in its official blog (won’t that offend and alienate some people as they insist?)



  10. Hate Letter Against Richard Matthew Stallman (RMS) Backfired So Spectacularly That Signers Asked to Revoke Their Own Signatures and the List Was Then Frozen Permanently (Updated)

    "An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation" tops 6,100 signatures (graph generated just moments ago)



  11. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 11: The BMJV's Tweedledee: Dr Christoph Ernst

    The right-hand man of António Campinos plays a role similar to that of Herr Lutz before him



  12. Links 9/4/2021: Tanglet 1.6.0 and HPVM 1.0

    Links for the day



  13. The Libel Against Richard Stallman Did Not Age Well

    Almost 2 years down the line libel about the founder of the FSF remains online, uncorrected (in sites funded by Microsoft and IBM)



  14. The Letter in Support of the FSF and Richard Stallman is Backed by the International Community, Not American Monopolies and Nationalistic Elements

    Free software is for everybody to use, internationally, it is not the asset of a bunch of current and old monopolists (connected to the US military) that also control the media; the nature of the signatures says that out loud



  15. Gemini Over IPFS (Decentralised Web, Accessed Over Gemini Protocol)

    The Gemini protocol (gemini://) can already be used to fetch (at the back end) and present objects from a P2P-like network; we're currently exploring practical use cases and possibilities



  16. News Sites That Talk About Patents Have Become Shameless Self-Promotion 'Plugs' by Law Firms (and Sometimes Outright 'Spam' for Litigation)

    The sources of news about patent affairs have dried up; sites that actually used to investigate and report facts have since then shut down or defected to the Public Relations/marketing industry



  17. Links 9/4/2021: Kubernetes 1.21 and FFmpeg 4.4 Released

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 08, 2021



  19. [Meme] Self-styled Judges

    To suit a recurring theme at the EPO we hereby present Roland Lutz, a self-styled judge



  20. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 10: A Faithful Lapdog Despised and Reviled by EPO Staff

    "In any event, the "Nazi" jibes directed against Lutz seem to have triggered Battistelli who decided to take revenge on his perceived enemies inside the EPO by smearing them as “Nazis”."



  21. Links 8/4/2021: GnuPG 2.3.0, Xen 4.15, Xfdashboard 0.9.2

    Links for the day



  22. The Hate Letter Which Backfired

    The FSF is more closely aligned with its founder's vision, his antagonists have left or are leaving, and that old hate letter turned out to be a loud minority (made to appear louder by biased media) emboldened by a gish gallop of lies



  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 07, 2021



  24. IBM: We Can Say It... You Cannot

    Blog posts such as this new one help show the hypocrisy or the double standards of IBM, looking to control speech while attacking people's (software) freedom/civil liberties and profiting from atomic bombs



  25. The Collapse of Microsoft Windows

    Although the corporate media keeps insisting that Microsoft is doing well, government (or military) bailouts keep the company afloat while its desperate attempts to remain relevant (as the common carrier languishes) merit a debate



  26. Links 8/4/2021: Mesa 21.0.2, GNU Releases, and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  27. Petition in Support of FSF's Decision to Put Its Founder in the Board Doubles Size of Hate Letter Propped Up by Corporate Media (Partly Funded by Monopolies)

    You cannot fool the population for eternity and there's a reflexive response to a campaign of misinformation, as the graph above shows; notice it keeps growing and growing, albeit not the defamatory one from the (Google-funded) Mozilla- and Red Hat-connected Luis Villa, who put in the GNONE Foundation Microsoft people



  28. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 9: A Veritable Virtuoso of Legal Sophistry

    "Lutz is also reputed to be closely linked to the German branch of the influential UPC lobby group centred around Prof. Winfried Tilmann."



  29. He Said, Xi Said: Hard to Censor Techrights and It's More Than a Web Site

    An explanation of some of the latest Techrights changes (mostly work on IPFS and Gemini this week, as they complement the Web site)



  30. A Patent System for Giant Corporations Like Boeing and Airbus, Not for Ordinary European Citizens

    There's hardly any illusion left that the patent system in Europe is supposed to serve the public; instead what we're seeing is an office that lost sight of its purpose and is instead trying to make law firms and their largest clients richer


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts