[Homestead] Newton's Third Law of Motion and Microsoft

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Tue Sep 28 15:41:55 EDT 2004

Pushed so long without blasting in the opposite direction, Microsoft 
thought they had discovered a hole in Newtonion theory.
They were wrong, will walk on their knees hereafter in Europe---lucky 
they have the opportunity to walk on their knees instead of getting them 
lopped off entirely as should have happened for their ghastly 
anti-competitive practices.

The New York Times

          September 28, 2004

    Microsoft Weighs Resuming Negotiations With Europe


By Bloomberg News

The Microsoft Corporation 
the world's largest software maker, said yesterday that it might restart 
settlement talks with European Union regulators after Europe's 
second-highest court ruled on whether penalties should be suspended.

"We recognize that people have issues that they want to see addressed 
and we are prepared to address them," Microsoft's general counsel, 
Bradford L. Smith, told reporters yesterday in Brussels. "We recognize 
that these issues are best addressed through face-to-face discussions."

The European Commission, the regulatory arm of the 25-member union, 
ruled in March that Microsoft routinely abused the dominance of Windows, 
the operating system, in more than 90 percent of the world's personal 

It levied a record fine of 497 million euros ($610 million) and required 
Microsoft to license information to competitors and to offer a version 
of its operating system without video and music players.

Bo Vesterdorf, the president of the European Court of First Instance in 
Luxembourg, is to decide whether to suspend the commission's order until 
a ruling is made on an appeal by Microsoft. Hearings are scheduled for 
Thursday and Friday, with a decision expected within two months.

Talks between Microsoft's chief executive, Steven A. Ballmer, and the 
European Union's competition commissioner, Mario Monti, broke off less 
than a week before the union's ruling on March 24. Regulators cut off 
negotiations because the company would not agree that the decision on 
the media player would act as a precedent in future reviews of its behavior.

Microsoft settled an American antitrust case in 2001. The European 
decision drew criticism from the Senate majority leader, Senator Bill 
Frist of Tennessee, who said it undermined the American accord.

To win a suspension, which Microsoft has said is vital, the company must 
demonstrate to the court that the commission's order would cause 
irreparable damage.

If Microsoft wins the suspension, it can avoid complying with the 
commission's orders until the court rules on the merits of the antitrust 
case, which may take two years or more.

Competitors have argued that Microsoft unfairly withholds software 
protocols that are needed by smaller, so-called workgroup servers 
running Windows. The commission agreed and ordered Microsoft to start 
licensing its server-to-server protocols.

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