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EU court upholds Microsoft anti-trust decision

By Mayank Sharma on September 17, 2007 (1:30:00 PM)

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A European Union court on Monday dismissed Microsoft's appeal against the 2004 ruling which found the company had abused its dominant market position to score over rivals. Microsoft's lawyers failed to impress the European Court of First Instance, which not only dismissed the case but also rejected the appeal against the €497 million ($690 million) fine imposed on the company. Update: Red Hat has issued a statement about the Commission's ruling.

In 2004, the European Commission (EC) ruled against Microsoft, terming its policy of including its own Media Player software as part of the Windows operating system and refusing to provide the technical information that rivals would need to offer their product instead, as illegal. Citing a change in the competitive landscape of media players, Microsoft's lawyers argued that products like Apple's iTunes and others are all making this field more competitive than it was in 2004.

A joint press release by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the SAMBA project welcomes the court's latest decision. "Through tactics that successfully derailed antitrust processes in other parts of the world, including the United States, Microsoft has managed to postpone this day for almost a decade. But thanks to the perseverance and excellent work of the European Commission, these tactics have now failed in Europe," says Georg Greve, president of FSFE.

The decision comes close on the heels of Microsoft's failed attempt to fast-track ISO approval for its Office Open XML format. To make matters worse for Microsoft, major competitors like IBM and Sun are grouping together behind the Open Document Format, which was approved as an ISO standard last year.

According to the ruling, Microsoft can still file an appeal before the EC's Court of Justice within two months.

Red Hat's statement (update):

RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the following statement in regard to the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg's decision in the matter of the European Commission vs. Microsoft:

“Today's decision by the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg in the Microsoft matter is great news for innovation and consumer choice, both in Europe and around the world. The Court has confirmed that competition law prevents a monopolist from simply using its control of the market to lock in customers and stifle new competitors,” said Matthew Szulik, Chairman and CEO of Red Hat. “In our business, interoperability information is critically important and cannot simply be withheld to exclude all competition. Given Red Hat's firm belief that competition, not questionable patent and trade secret claims, drives innovation and creates greater consumer value, we were pleased with the overall decision and look forward to examining the decision in greater detail. Red Hat would like to congratulate the European Commission, and particularly Commissioner Neelie Kroes and her services, for their persistence and courage in bringing this matter to a successful result.”

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on EU court upholds Microsoft anti-trust decision

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EU court upholds Microsoft anti-trust decision

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 208.9.222.210] on September 17, 2007 04:22 PM
Now. When is someone going against the Apple guys?

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Erm, Apple?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 137.151.174.192] on September 17, 2007 05:46 PM
I guess they will be chased (by the DoJ, EC, whoever) when they are declared a predatory monopoly. Does that help you?

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Not enough

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.153.93.67] on September 17, 2007 08:27 PM
Microsoft needs to be forced to relase ALL its code. Maybe then someone can make a good OS with gaming support, and have a much larger base of hardware support. Or, if manufacturing companies would release info for the hardware they produce to the open source communities, we'd have no need for microsoft's inferior code, and have working drivers for linux.

Apple? Isn't that one of those several thousand dollar paperweights? ;)

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Re: Not enough

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.149.160.238] on September 17, 2007 11:54 PM
If there's no need for Microsoft inferior code, why the need for them to release the code? I think the Linux community need to be clear on what they want. The best way to demonstrate who is superior is creating something new, innovate, you should say. We don't need to wait for MS code. The work is out there, let the people hear about it and teach them. What we should be doing is creating our own applications, looking at the basic user needs. MS give people what people think they want, we should give them what they need. If you need driver support, the fight is with the hardware developers, not with Microsoft. Hardware and software developers just follow the money, we need to give the reason to invest on the Linux OS.

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Re(1): Not enough

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.212.37.150] on September 28, 2007 05:58 AM
Yes, I was saying either give us the code to at least get the hardware to work, or get the manufacturers to give the details needed. Though simply because of the money issue, I don't see some manufacturers even looking past the name "linux" without crumpling it and throwing it away. Microsoft code would be very good. As long as they didn't code it themselves. *cough*

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EU court upholds Microsoft anti-trust decision

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 58.71.34.137] on September 20, 2007 12:01 PM
A good decision. Micro$oft runs a monopoly. The EU Commission saw it and acted in favor of consumers. Now if only the US would do the same instead of just giving Micro$oft a slap on the wrist.

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EU court upholds Microsoft anti-trust decision

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.8.8.124] on September 25, 2007 03:26 PM
Guess we are giving microsoft a run for there money... Good work people keep it up..

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Re: EU court upholds Microsoft anti-trust decision

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.212.37.150] on September 28, 2007 05:59 AM
Still billions to go unfortunately.

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Microsoft can eat my shorts

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.226.214.242] on October 22, 2007 04:42 PM
Nice to see the Europeans stand up and fight for a free market and capitalism, while we proud Americans cower and wipe the shoes of corporate giants like Microsoft. I love Microsoft's comments that they "will continue to work closely with the Commission and the industry to ensure a flourishing and competitive environment for information technology."

Hello, they currently run on 95 percent of the world's personal computers (Reuters, http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071022/bs_nm/microsoft_eu_dc).

Some flourising and competitive environment............

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EU court upholds Microsoft anti-trust decision

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