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ECT News Community   »   E-Commerce Times Talkback   »   Re: European Union Backs Record Fine for Microsoft

Re: European Union Backs Record Fine for Microsoft
Posted by: Keith Regan 2004-03-24 00:49:15
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Setting the stage for what likely will be a lengthy court battle, member states of the European Union have backed a plan to slap a record fine of more than $600 million on Microsoft for alleged antitrust violations in the personal computer market. Microsoft already has responded to word of the fine, saying the commission is overstepping its bounds. "We believe it's unprecedented and inappropriate for the Commission to impose a fine on a company's U.S. operations when those operations are already regulated by the U.S. government," Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's associate general counsel for Europe, said.

Re: European Union Backs Record Fine for Microsoft
Posted by: nomis 2004-03-24 01:14:04 In reply to: Keith Regan
It is excellent to see that the EU is showing that it has some teeth, unlike the US government that folded under pressure from Microsoft.
I note with interest the comments from Microsoft in relation to its stance that the EU will be overridding what the US government has already ceeded as "acceptable business practices". Microsoft has to remember that Europe is NOT the US and has different regulations that it must comply with if it wants to conduct its business within its borders.
I also would point out that Microsoft is being very 2 faced about this because on one hand it is complaining that the EU shouldn't be allowed to override US law, and on the other it is using the laws within the EU, and other countries to go after after it lost its case in the US.
I note the last comment from the US Senator, in the story and I quote "The EU has now directly attacked the authority of the United States government and our economy in general," Murray said in a statement, calling the fine, which is based in part on Microsoft's U.S. sales figures, "a blatant attempt to regulate the U.S. economy.", should this not actually be the otherway around, is it not a case of the US trying to impose its authority on the EU!

Re: European Union Backs Record Fine for Microsoft
Posted by: DocTa 2004-03-25 15:16:24 In reply to: nomis
I agree. Just because a business practice is deemed acceptable in this country (whether it is ethical or not), does not mean it is acceptable all over the world.
The United States does NOT determine business policy for every nation. It can only determine (and enforce) the policies within its own borders - other nations determine their own.
Business works best when it is beneficial to all persons involved; businesses AND consumers.

Re: European Union Backs Record Fine for Microsoft
Posted by: Hamsternator 2004-03-29 00:50:41 In reply to: DocTa
This does pose an interesting question, though...
Microsoft US are fined by the EU for practises which the EU deem illegal within its legislation.
Whatever you think of the outcome of the case (after endless appeals...), this relates purely to the physical world, but what of the internet?
Services via the net are as real as physical products these days, and are most certainly international in nature.
In its utmost consequences, doesn't the EU fining MS US (and winning, possibly) amount to setting the stage for suing service providers in other countries, because their internet services are illegal in yours? The US have recently tried this with the Bahamas, as I recall, suing their internet gambling sites, as it is illegal to post bets across state lines in the US, and the internet pretty much disregards state lines... they lost the case, but there's a nasty storm brewing in this general area, it seems to me.
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