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Microsoft Meets EU Antitrust Deadline 65

Posted by Zonk
from the grumbling-like-an-old-man dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention a News.com article, which reports on Microsoft's attempt to meet the EU's requirements in their ongoing antitrust case. The updated documents that Microsoft has delivered, they hope, will put off the leveling of a several-millions-of-dollars-a-day fine against the OS maker. Whether or not the documents have accomplished that task will not be known for several months yet. From the article: "The commission set a deadline of July but delayed it until a court proceeding finished in December, 2004. In July, 2006, the commission fined Microsoft $357.3 million for dragging its feet, on top of a fine of almost $646 million in 2004 for its initial violation. In a statement calling the submission of documents a 'milestone,' Microsoft said it had completed the review and editing of some 100 documents, which number 8,500 pages."
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Microsoft Meets EU Antitrust Deadline

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  • Fluff (Score:1, Insightful)

    Almost a year ago, Microsoft released documents to the EU, which later responded with an epigram similar to, "There is indeed more page volume, but the content is still worthless." As much as I'd like to believe Microsoft is still not contributing to what they were required to do, you can only stretch the English language so far, then the fluff becomes thinner. There may actually be something within those pages this time. Maybe.

    Just maybe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by a.d.trick (894813)
      There may actually be something within those pages this time. Maybe.

      Common sense tells me that after all this time and bickering they should have gotten it right by now. Unfortunatly, my experience tells me that my common sense doesn't work very well around Microsoft.

    • You're talking about the world's largest, horribly coded software. Of course most of the content in documents are worthless. If we're going to nitpick about the content of documents, we should go after the U.S. tax code.
  • The updated documents that Microsoft has delivered, they hope, will put off the leveling of a several-millions-of-dollars-a-day fine against the OS maker. Whether or not the documents have accomplished that task will not be known for several months yet.

    Being that they have already dragged their feet for years on this, they should be required to pay the fine (or at least a percentage of it) into escrow (which can bear interest for the benefit of the EU citizenry). Once the documentation is judged to have met the requirements of the EU regulators, the money can be returned.

    Not sure if it would be possible, but I think it would help dissuade MS from future delay tactics.

    • by eln (21727)
      Since escrow would deprive Microsoft the use of its money during the time the EU was verifying the documents, I would think any interest earned on that money would have to be returned to Microsoft, not used for the benefit of the people of the EU or anyone else.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        If Microsoft is found to be in compliance, then the interest earned should go back to them. But if they are found not to be in compliance, then interest should go to the EU since their fine payments would be late.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Thanks for fining us in a recent antitrust case. To save us both transaction fees I suggest we settle outside the courts using an escrow service http://www.123fakescrow.com/ [123fakescrow.com]
      Simply log into the escrow service we suggested (Which we have already used and it's very secure and stuff).
      We will need a 'processing fee' from you to release the funds.
      We are also willing to throw in an Xbox 360 as a token of good will.

      Love from Microsoft
    • Any existing fine... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      ...is for crimes already perpetrated, so should be exacted in full. For that matter, this current case of delivering at the eleventh hour (making it impossible for the EU to validate until past the deadline) should warrant a suspended fine from the picosecond that the deadline ran out until either the documents are certified as adequate OR are rejected. Microsoft should have absolutely ZERO claim over whether there was a misunderstanding or not, precisely because they waited until the last possible moment.
    • by Scarblac (122480)
      Return the money? Why? They're required to pay the fine and make available this documentation.
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      I still wonder where we can download these documents. Because they are going to be made public right ?
      • It will be released wit a non discriminatory license, that a court will review. That means that you'll probably have to pay to get the specs, but the same amount of everybody else.

    • by eneville (745111)
      Once the documentation is judged to have met the requirements of the EU regulators, the money can be returned.
      yeah just like now i've moved my car all those parking fines should be returned to my bank account. some chance buddy.
  • by RelliK (4466) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @01:46AM (#16981796)
    Slashdot meets dupe quota. The number of duplicate stories is now 1,000,000. Slashdot spokesman and frequent poster Zonk called it a 'milestone'.
  • Gasp! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Jaansen (1006739)
    I didn't know it was possible to meet the same deadline twice. Oh, its a dupe.
  • by stox (131684) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @02:24AM (#16981966) Homepage
    The documents were submitted in Office 2007 format, with extensions that only run under Vista. Next month, Microsoft will announce the fast adoption of Vista by the European Commission. After all, if the commission is buying so many copies, it must be good. Soon, thereafter, they will announce a record adoption of Vista by leading open source developers.

    Moo Ha Ha
  • expensive pages... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tmack (593755) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @02:59AM (#16982106) Homepage Journal
    just over $1billion in fines already, and only 8500 pages to show for it after two whole years? That doesnt sound like much, and comes out to $118,000 per page. Taking the average of 275 words per page, that comes to $429 per word, or about $72 per non-whitespace.

    Tm

    • But how much is that in Libraries of Congress?
    • by Teun (17872)
      Taking the average of 275 words per page

      Stop right there!
      When Microsoft lawyers write to the EU (likely to obscure their real intentions) they use *much* bigger words.

      That explains also why big words are by definition (like lawyers) very expensive.

  • Does anyone know what things (protocols, file formats, whatever) the doucments that Microsoft have given the EU and/or that the EU has been asking for actually cover?
  • In Soviet Union, you read Party in full compliance with the Helsinki Accords.
    In Capitalist West, Microsoft emails new EU Antitrust laws to you!

    But as a dissident or competitor you know how it will end.

  • Well, there were two fines already: one for antitrust violations and another for failure to comply. Second one was also deadline. IOW, the article should be titled "Microsoft Meets Second EU Antitrust Deadline."

    And I suspect that is not last dead line M$ is going to push up to its limit. Because, as of now, if there is something wrong with submitted documents, M$ wouldn't have time to correct raised issues and would breach the deadline.

  • "Whether or not the documents have accomplished that task will not be known for several months yet"

    By which time Vista will be in the market, making it difficult to recall if MS is found to be still in breech of the ruling.
  • Microsoft has complied with all of the EC decision except the interoperability documentation [boycottnovell.com], one of the squabbles is what the 'license terms' should be for the interface info - MS doesnt want it to be free, and heaven forbid GPL-friendly.

    Novell has now validated MS claim [boycottnovell.com] that the interface info is indeed license worthy, notice they are paying royalties, so now MS can say to the EU that Novell found their license terms "Reasonable and Non Discriminatory". The Novell deal will undermine the EC ruling, and

  • In a statement calling the submission of documents a 'milestone,' Microsoft said it had completed the review and editing of some 100 documents, which number 8,500 pages."

    I thought you weren't suppose to "edit" documents before you submitted them to the courts. Isn't this called evidence tampering?

  • In what other industry would the government (ANY government) have the right to force a company to release its trade secrets to its competitors in order for them to 'compete'?

    Do drug makers have to release their formulae to their competitors to release competing (or even complimentary) products?

    Does Boeing send their engineering specifications to Airbus? Does Ford have to send the documentation on their latest engine design to General Motors or Volkswagen?

    Microsoft is the "American Dream" -- it has produced
    • by kubitus (927806)
      The patent on flaps as controls for an airplane, instead of twisting the wings, were forced by the US Governement to be used by the competitors of its inventor. ( I am not sure if it was Grumman )
    • by Magada (741361)
      No. Bad troll. Sit. Microsoft isn't being asked for the source. All the EU wants is the API documentation, so that people can develop new stuff based on Microsoft's OS. Of course, when your entire business model is based on customer lock-in and monopoly judo, handing over the API docs is akin to granting the keys to the kingdom but still, Microsoft is not being asked to reveal any trade secrets.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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