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Windows 7: EU to pursue antitrust case, despite Windows 7 E

20 Jun 2009   #41
PhreePhly

Windows 7 x64 (RTM via MSDN)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nohelmets View Post
Everybody knows it's (in part) because Microsoft is an American company. I think it's become pretty obvious that some of these EU bureaucrats have a deep-seated anti-Americanism. Just look at the ridiculous fine they threw on Microsoft--something exponentially greater than anything they've ever done to a European company. Or take a look at how they're now going after Intel, another American company, yet don't mind at all the pan-EU corporations like Airbus having full monopolies across the continent.
I don't think that's true. The EU Commission just hit a number of elevator manufacturers, mostly European companies, with some pretty hefty fines for running a cartel. Siemens just go slapped with a huge fine about 6 months ago.

Airbus is government sanctioned consortium of individual manufacturers that form the company. Because this is a government approved monopoly, it is different. This is like the cable franchises in the US or phone franchises. This is why people live in Verizon areas or AT&T areas. These were government approved monopolies.

MS has a unique position in the business world. In history, I don't believe that any company has ever had as large a market share as MS has. Think about it, world wide, Windows is on approximately 97% of computers. That's huge, and by doing just small things, MS can change the computer software landscape completely. They won't, because it doesn't make financial sense, but they could, so they are watched carefully.

I believe that changes in the market are slowly making MS less of a threat than they were 10 years ago. Firefox made it pretty clear that a competing browser can change the landscape. It's a bit mute, as these are free products, but the MS stranglehold was broken.

Linux has provided an alternative OS, and while it is no where as ubiquitious as Windows, it does provide a competion. OSX is growing, faster than Windows according to Apple, so there is viable competition forming against MS. Some of this is due to actions by anti-monopoly groups like the EU commission, but I believe it is just a natural progression of competition. The PC world is too open, it is too easy to build a computer and you don't need MS for anything.

PhreePhly


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Jun 2009   #42
PhreePhly

Windows 7 x64 (RTM via MSDN)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by petrossa View Post
It's hard to get this isn't it?

There is no 'choice'.

In the EU the laws of the EU prevail, not those of USA and certainly not those of a company who has been judged to be anti-competitve. They didn't get fined for being nice guys.

The EU DECIDES what THEY accept as solution. If MS refuses to comply with a direct order from the EU they'll find themselves forking out quite higher fines then the last time.

According to EU laws they have to right to impose up to 10% of a company's profits. They've come off lightely last time around.
Of course there is choice. If the EU Commission continues in these actions, MS may be able to make a financial case to its shareholders that doing business within the jurisdiction of the EU is becoming detrimental to the business climate.

Also, MS will go through the appeals process, which will take time. It will be interesting to see what happens. Never in the EU history has a company been forced to include a competitors product. This would be precedent setting and quite scary for other companies in the EU.

You seem to think the EU commission can do anything it wants. That is not the case. It must still work from the framework of rules and regulations agreed upon by the founding nations that created the EU. Remember, MS was slapped for being anti-competative by bundling the browser. The just fixed that by unbundling the browser. The Commission will have a hard time making a case that MS is once again abusing their position.

PhreePhly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2009   #43
petrossa

vista x64/ win 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PhreePhly View Post
Airbus is government sanctioned consortium of individual manufacturers that form the company. Because this is a government approved monopoly, it is different.
PhreePhly
At what they are a monopoly? Making airplanes? It is a consortium, just like ESA is and many other pan-european consortia.

But they have no monopoly at anything, or has Boeing ceased to exist?
Anyone is free to choose which airplane to buy in Europe.

For the rest you're quite right. Just like they just broke cartel agreements for international cellphone calls. They capped it at 36 eurocents a minute (used to be sometimes more the 1 euro a minute).
Same like they'll instruct MS to clean up its act.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Jun 2009   #44
PhreePhly

Windows 7 x64 (RTM via MSDN)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by petrossa View Post
At what they are a monopoly? Making airplanes? It is a consortium, just like ESA is and many other pan-european consortia.

But they have no monopoly at anything, or has Boeing ceased to exist?
Anyone is free to choose which airplane to buy in Europe.

For the rest you're quite right. Just like they just broke cartel agreements for international cellphone calls. They capped it at 36 eurocents a minute (used to be sometimes more the 1 euro a minute).
Same like they'll instruct MS to clean up its act.
The point is, there is no other EU manufacturer of Commercial Airliners. In order to be competative with Boeing, the Airbus consortium is allowed to exists. This consortium is anti-competative in the fact that it would be almost impossible for a competing firm to form in the EU.

Also, you keep forgetting the the ONLY reason MS was found to be anti-competative was their bundling of apps, specifically the browser and the media player. That's why they were forced to sell a N version, which included no Media Player (boy, that was the EU's high point, that really fixed MS. Users were scrambling to get the Media Playerless version)

Now, MS is cleaning up it's act by not including the browser.

PhreePhly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2009   #45
petrossa

vista x64/ win 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PhreePhly View Post
The Commission will have a hard time making a case that MS is once again abusing their position.
PhreePhly
That's not necessary Phree. The case has been made and accepted.
The membercountries have as much say in the matter as a politician in a court of law (none), because it's all according to the rules.

The EU thinks this
Rapid - Press Releases - EUROPA

And MS telling their shareholders they'll drop half of their revenues because they want to be anti-competitive is a ludicrous proposition and will get the board of directors out on their ass in no time at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2009   #46
Dwarf

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by petrossa
The membercountries have as much say in the matter as a politician in a court of law (none), because it's all according to the rules.
And here is the rub. If something is found which is not according to the rules, then the rules are changed so that it is.

One wonders if the EU are ever going to be completely satisfied with MS. I think not because there are still applications included in Windows for which there are alternatives available (e.g. Paint, Notepad, etc). I can see the situation where, when the EU is finally happy about the issue of MS and IE, that they move on to one of the other included applications.

Unfortunately, the only conclusion that I can gleam from all of this is that the EU has a vendetta against MS. It seems to me that, no matter what MS do in trying to comply with the EU, they (the EU) are never going to be satisfied.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2009   #47
PhreePhly

Windows 7 x64 (RTM via MSDN)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by petrossa View Post
That's not necessary Phree. The case has been made and accepted.
The membercountries have as much say in the matter as a politician in a court of law (none), because it's all according to the rules.

The EU thinks this
Rapid - Press Releases - EUROPA

And MS telling their shareholders they'll drop half of their revenues because they want to be anti-competitive is a ludicrous proposition and will get the board of directors out on their ass in no time at all.
That release says nothing. They agree with the oems adding the browser, but are concerned about retail. They had "suggested" a ballot system in January. MS came up with a solution that the EU wasn't expecting. No where does it state that MS had to provide a ballot system. Also, MS always has the option to appeal the commissions ruling, and if forced to include competitors browsers, they will most definitely appeal.

PhreePhly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2009   #48
petrossa

vista x64/ win 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PhreePhly View Post
The point is, there is no other EU manufacturer of Commercial Airliners.
PhreePhly
It's not an EU manufacturer, it's consortium of several industries who've combined their efforts internationally. The totality of industries needed to build commercial airliners just doesn't exist in a single country.

Before Airbus there was the Concorde, a partnership between industries in the UK & France. All what makes it different is that their respective countries have given permission to those industries to form a pan-european manufacturer.

The EU has nothing to do with it.

In other responses:

The EU is a bureaucratic monolith. It has no 'feelings' towards MS or anyone else regardless where their enterprise is registered. They don't 'like' Opera, or Realplayer.

There are rules, functionaries apply the rules. If you break the rules you are admonished. It's very mechanical.

The don't fine because they need the money, the fines levied don't even come up in the rounding of the budget so small is their part.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2009   #49
PhreePhly

Windows 7 x64 (RTM via MSDN)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by petrossa View Post
It's not an EU manufacturer, it's consortium of several industries who've combined their efforts internationally. The totality of industries needed to build commercial airliners just doesn't exist in a single country.

Before Airbus there was the Concorde, a partnership between industries in the UK & France. All what makes it different is that their respective countries have given permission to those industries to form a pan-european manufacturer.

The EU has nothing to do with it.

In other responses:

The EU is a bureaucratic monolith. It has no 'feelings' towards MS or anyone else regardless where their enterprise is registered. They don't 'like' Opera, or Realplayer.

There are rules, functionaries apply the rules. If you break the rules you are admonished. It's very mechanical.

The don't fine because they need the money, the fines levied don't even come up in the rounding of the budget so small is their part.
By allowing this consortium, the EU has in effect, made it impossible for any other manufacturer to get into the commercial airliner manufacturing. This is not necessarily bad, it is a smart move to keep Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and McDonnell-Douglas (now part of Boeing) in check and maintain a european aircraft company.

Had Airbus not been formed, there would most likely not be a european aircraft manufacturer in the commercial airliner side and Boeing would have had the monopoly. Granted, the EU, as it exists today, wasn't around when Airbus was formed so it had no say in the creation of the consortium, but I wonder if they would have allowed it for economic purposes against the US aircraft builders, even though it is anti-competative.

As far as the EU response to MS:

How hard is this to understand? MS was punished for anti-competative practices based upon bundling. That was the "rule" they broke. They are now going to fix that by operating within that "rule" and not bundling the browser. While the EU may not have anticipated this response, the response is, however, within the rules. The EU commission is still required to operate within its own rules. If they decide to change that rule, there is a process they must follow.

The point being this is not done, and while the EU may turn around and claim that what MS is doing now is anti-competative, that will require a new hearing, as MS will most certainly appeal, which is part of the rules and regulation that even the "mighty EU Commission" must follow.

PhreePhly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2009   #50
z3r010

 

Microsoft could quite easily put an end to this saga by re-branding "IE" to "NO" as No is something that is not recognized by the dictators in Brussels and would just be ignored.
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 EU to pursue antitrust case, despite Windows 7 E




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