EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.08.13

Reminder: Microsoft Fine a Punishment for Its Crimes

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

J P Morgan
J. P. Morgan assaulting photographers

Summary: Rebuttal to Microsoft spin which can be found embedded in many articles about the EU fine; reason for the fine is breaking the law and failing to obey penalties, not an attempt to increase competition in the Web browsers market

The fines which Microsoft is required to pay will hardly do much damage to Microsoft, which can always just take some more loans. Yes, the company has had some debt and not too long ago it publicly reported losses. Here is the news from yet another source:

The European Commission has fined Microsoft €561 million (£484 million/$732 million) for dropping the Browser Choice Screen in a Windows 7 update. This is the first time ever that the Commission has had to fine a company for non-compliance with an anti-trust commitment.

Well, a former Microsoft employee who keeps covering this saga with some Microsoft talking points embedded inside, does it yet again. Others who are soft on Microsoft say:

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that open source browsers–especially Firefox and Google Chrome–have been leading browser innovation for a long time. That’s why it may seem unbelievable to some that Microsoft has just been hit with a whopping $731 million fine by European officials for allegedly not playing fair in the browser races. Microsoft agreed to terms with Europe on making browser choices available in Windows years ago….

As a little bit of background:

In December 2009, the Commission made Microsoft commit to address competition concerns in the browser market by ensuring that for the next five years it would offer users a choice screen of browsers so that they could make an “informed and unbiased” selection for their web browser. In March 2010, the Browser Choice Screen went live in Windows and users who had Internet Explorer set as their default, and users performing new installs, were presented with it. Between March and November 2010, 84 million browsers were downloaded.

As the OSI President explains:

EU punished Microsoft for its history, not its crime

The real reason the EU fined Microsoft (a relatively small sum) at all: Because the company is a scofflaw

A pro-Linux site added its views:

The EU Competition Commission, which levied a fine on Microsoft, had indicated long before the announcement what was in store, so “EU fines Microsoft” was expected. What we did not know was how much the fine was going to be.

[...]

Knowing Microsoft, you know that there was no glitch or technical error. It was just business as usual. In late 2012, Microsoft was notified by the EU Commission about the possibility of a fine, which based on agreement, could be as high as 10% of a year’s revenue. Based on Microsoft’s revenue in 2012, that could have been about $7.4bn USD. Instead, the commission settled for $731m USD, or 561m euros.

[...]

By the way, over here in our America, it’s still business as usual.

The main reason for writing this article is to highlight what effect, if any, Microsoft’s “technical error” has had on its Web browser’s market share in Europe and elsewhere. Did the “glitch” enable Internet Explorer to remain the dominant Web browser? And was it necessary to make Microsoft pay?

No, but this is irrelevant. As we explained repeatedly in prior years, this is punishment for crimes, not an attempt at corrective market intervention. Microsoft has PR talking points, and it is important to resist portraying the criminal as a victim. The victims here are many people/families who lost their jobs so that criminals high up in Microsoft can amass more billions of dollars (personal wealth) and plenty of power over the Internet, the broadest communications hub.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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

A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    March 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Gravatar

    PJ at Groklaw brings up several points not mentioned elsewhere:

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130307115948999&mode=nested

    And the EFF had a good bit to say.

    https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2013/03/06/ec-hits-microsoft-with-eur-561-million-fine-over-web-browsers/

    The monetary fines seem to leave M$ unfazed and appear to be treated as the cost of doing business. It may be that more forceful measures are necessary, namely excluding M$ from public procurement for a limited amount of time. That time interval mustn’t be too short, it has to be long enough that buyers have to look for other vendors rather than just wait it out.

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/12/2014: China and Linux, GNOME Shell 3.15.3

    Links for the day



  2. The New Age of Games for UNIX/Linux But Not for Windows, Microsoft is Openwashing Windows-Only Games

    The world is moving to GNU- and Linux-powered platforms, so Microsoft withdraws GNU/Linux support from games it buys and starts openwashing its Windows-only games



  3. Microsoft Essentially Sends Malware to Windows and Bricks It

    Microsoft is once again bricking Vista 7, demonstrating lack of reliability or very low quality programming



  4. Microsoft Lays Off Staff, Cheapens Labour as More Companies Are Dumping Microsoft's Lock-in, NSA-Friendly Services, and Windows

    A look at some of Microsoft's latest woes, including an appeal for cheaper labour amid decrease in business



  5. Links 19/12/2014: Robolinux 7.7.1 LXDE, Red Hat Thriving

    Links for the day



  6. Another Microsoft Partner Markets Linux FUD Using Logo, Name, and Lies

    Microsoft's partner Alert Logic is trying to label a feature of Linux a security flaw and even makes marketing buzz for it



  7. Redmonk is Spreading Black Duck's Anti-GPL Talking Points After Payments From Black Duck, Microsoft

    CBS' ZDNet spreads the GNU-hostile narrative which comes from Redmonk, funded by Microsoft and Black Duck, citing Black Duck, which also comes from Microsoft and is a partner of Microsoft



  8. 'Good' Software Patents From EA Show Cases Where DRM is a Patent Infringement

    Where two evils collide the public benefits, or how some software patents discourage the use of DRM



  9. Richard Stallman: What Does It Mean for Your Computer to Be Loyal?

    New article from Richard Stallman



  10. Links 18/12/2014: LinuxQuestions.org Polls, Fedora for POWER

    Links for the day



  11. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  12. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  13. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  14. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  15. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  17. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  18. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  19. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  20. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  21. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  22. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  23. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  24. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  25. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day



  26. Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

    The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring



  27. France Gets Involved in Battistelli's Abuses in the EPO - Part XII (Updated)

    The EPO scandal has officially spilled over to France, where a French Senator got involved and starts asking serious questions



  28. Rolling of Heads Likely Imminent at EPO

    The European patent system is shaking as management breaks the rules, staff is protesting against the management every week, and charges of corruption resurface



  29. Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

    Links for the day



  30. Links 10/12/2014: Fedora 21, Ubuntu Core

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts