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Endgame for Europe's Microsoft Case


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Endgame for Europe's Microsoft Case

By Jennifer L. Schenker

The European Commission finally gets the software giant to agree to its 2004 interoperability ruling. But the open-source sector isn't celebrating quite yet.

On Sept. 17, the day that the European Commission won its sweeping court victory (more...)against Microsoft, Neelie Kroes, Europe's tough competition cop, was asked when she would like Microsoft to comply in full with the EC's 2004 antitrust decision. "The sooner the better," was her terse reply. "Let them start this afternoon."

It took several more weeks of negotiations, including breaking bread with Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer in a small restaurant near Kroes' hometown of Rotterdam and almost daily follow-up phone calls with him, before she finally got her way. On Oct. 22, a beaming Kroes announced closure to Europe's seven-year-long battle with the U.S. software giant. Microsoft, she explained, agreed to three substantial changes in its business practices that will bring it into compliance with the EC's 2004 ruling. She called the agreement "a victory for consumers."

"It is regrettable that Microsoft has only complied after a considerable delay, two court decisions, and the imposition of daily penalty payments," Kroes said in a press statement. "However, the measures that the Commission has insisted upon will benefit computer users by bringing competition and innovation back to the server market."

Full story, Source: Der Spiegel

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Congratulations. The EU has just put the price of all Microsoft Products up for Europeans.

What a GREAT victory.

Meow Purr.

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* Shakes head and sighs *

If the EU actually had a clue about software, they'd be dangerous.

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I can't stand the EU... And I hate brown even more for being a douche and signing even more freedom away to the EU...

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