It's tough to please the European Commission on matters of antitrust. But then, Microsoft hasn't tried very hard.
The Commission just hit Microsoft with a $1.35 billion fine for being "unreasonable" over its proposed patent fee structure:
"Microsoft was the first company in fifty years of EU competition policy that the Commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an antitrust decision," said European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes
. "I hope that today's decision closes a dark chapter in Microsoft's record of noncompliance with the Commission's March 2004 decision
and that the principles confirmed by the Court of First Instance ruling of September 2007
will govern Microsoft's future conduct."
Now, why would she think that? The Commission has dinged Microsoft before with fines, to no effect. Clearly, it is using the wrong tools or perhaps has the wrong argument. The ironic thing is that Microsoft could reduce its patent fees from its initial 3.87 percent to 0 percent, and it wouldn't affect its business one iota.… Read more