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. Microsoft Found to Have Broken the Law in China (Tax Evasion), Just Like Practically Everywhere

    China is reportedly taking action against Microsoft's notorious habit of tax evasion and fining the company well over $100 million



  2. Links 26/11/2014: Docker Patched, New DragonFlyBSD

    Links for the day



  3. Message to the Corporate Media: Bill Gates is Not an Ebola Expert

    Brainwash in the corporate media, including media that the Gates Foundation bribes in exchange for sheer bias, paints the super-rich as the solution rather than the problem



  4. US Government Finally Probes Microsoft Over Financial Fraud, Microsoft Then Bullies the Government With a Lawsuit

    Microsoft is finally being investigated -- perhaps properly too -- for its well-known tax abuses that have so far proved that Microsoft is "too big to jail"; Microsoft is suing the investigator, exerting its abusive power to discourage further investigation



  5. Gagging Critics: Micro Focus-Run SUSE Bribes Journalists in Exchange for Positive Coverage

    Amid the takeover by Micro Focus, SUSE pays journahayess (especially critics) who in turn become some kind of advertisements feed of Novell



  6. Links 25/11/2014: Tizen News, Jolla Tablet Past Million

    Links for the day



  7. Links 24/11/2014: Linux 3.18-rc6, Qualcomm Eyes GNU/Linux Servers

    Links for the day



  8. Boycotting Micro Focus International

    Microsoft's "Partner of the Year" is taking over the patron of SUSE and all of Novell's remains, except the patents (Microsoft has already grabbed those)



  9. Vesna Stilin's Remarks on Željko Topić: Part XI

    Vesna Stilin speaks about her confrontation with EPO Vice-President Željko Topić, who has criminal lawsuits against him in Croatia



  10. Links 22/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu MATE

    Links for the day



  11. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  12. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  13. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  14. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  15. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  16. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  17. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  18. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  19. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  20. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  22. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  23. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  24. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  25. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  26. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  27. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  29. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  30. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)


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