Microsoft’s £250m Media Player fight.

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Re: Microsoft’s £250m Media Player fight.

Postby piqaboo » Wed Mar 24, 2004 3:15 pm

Is the upset because Microsoft doesnt want to play by European rules when playing in Europe?

Or because Europe has these rules at all?

Or because 90% of the worlds PC's run on Windows?
Just a note: At my last employer, we used Macintosh computers running on "Windows for Macs".
<ed: there there, try not to cry.>
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Re: Microsoft’s £250m Media Player fight.

Postby lliam » Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:27 am

Hi Piq, I just think that EU are dictating to Bill. Whatever happened to free enterprise?

They'll be telling Mac Donald's next, to unbundle their hamburgers so that the French can compete, with their horse meat and frogs legs etc. It's a wonder the Jerry's ain't had a go at Mac's for using the name of Hamburg in vain , one of their favourite Cities. :confused: :confused:
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Re: Microsoft’s £250m Media Player fight.

Postby lliam » Sun May 16, 2004 7:50 am

Originally posted by piqaboo:
Is the upset because Microsoft doesnt want to play by European rules when playing in Europe?

Or because Europe has these rules at all?
The European Union is a corrupt, totalitarian beast gobbling up the independent and free nations of ancient Europe. We want a Europe of traditional nations, free and independent, not a multicultural, multiracial, dictatorial and bureaucratic European Superstate. Britain must secure its proud one-thousand-year-old freedom as an independent country by withdrawing from the European Union. If we do not, Britain will become a mere province, ruled from Brussels, with no influence whatsoever and no control over its own affairs. This is not the future we want, it is not the future the people want, it is not the future the people of Europe want. Only the self-serving liberal-left elite want it, and it’s time for the British people to tell them where to put their federal European ‘dream’! :mad: :mad:
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Re: Microsoft’s £250m Media Player fight.

Postby rwcrooks » Mon May 17, 2004 1:52 pm

Lliam,

I know how you feel when you say you don't want to be "a mere province, ruled from Brussels, with no influence whatsoever and no control over its own affairs." Sorta sucks. But we took care of our problem like that about 225 years ago. Now it's your turn.

I seem to recall in 1940, or so, England proposed merging with France to become one country if France didn't fold up its tents and call it quits when Hitler invaded. But we all know what happened with France.

It seems like if you don't play by the EU rules, they are going to make it very tough on you.

Maybe you English should do what we Americans have done ... stop producing anything of value, buy everything from China, export our technology jobs to India and try to live off of selling videos and hamburgers to each other. That's what makes America great.
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Re: Microsoft’s £250m Media Player fight.

Postby lliam » Tue May 18, 2004 1:44 pm

QUOTE]Originally posted by RichC:

I seem to recall in 1940, or so, England proposed merging with France to become one country if France didn't fold up its tents and call it quits when Hitler invaded. But we all know what happened with France.
================================

In December, 1939, Jean Monnet was sent to London to oversee the collectivization of the two countries' war production capacities.

When the French government fell in June 1940, Monnet's influence inspired de Gaulle and Churchill to accept a plan for a union of France and the United Kingdom to enable the two countries to stand up to Nazism.

In August 1940, Jean Monnet was sent to the United States by the British government as a member of the British Supply Council, in order to negotiate the purchase of war supplies.

Soon after his arrival in Washington, he became an advisor to President Roosevelt.

Convinced that America could serve as "the great arsenal of democracy" he persuaded the president to launch a massive arms production program to supply the Allies with military material.

Shortly thereafter, in 1941, Roosevelt, with Churchill's agreement, launched the Victory Program, which represented the entry of the United States into the war effort.

After the war, the British economist John Maynard Keynes was to say that through his co-ordinating Monnet had probably shortened World War II by one year.

In 1943, Monnet became a member of the National Liberation Committee, the French government in exile in Algiers. During a meeting on August 5, 1943, Monnet declared to the Committee:
"There will be no peace in Europe, if the states are reconstituted on the basis of national sovereignty... The countries of Europe are too small to guarantee their peoples the necessary prosperity and social development. The European states must constitute themselves into a federation..."
=================
QUOTE]Originally posted by RichC:
[QB]
It seems like if you don't play by the EU rules, they are going to make it very tough on you.
===========================================

Wer'e having a referendum, I think most of us will vote, 'No to Euro'
==============================

QUOTE]Originally posted by RichC:
[QB]
Maybe you English should do what we Americans have done ... stop producing anything of value, buy everything from China, export our technology jobs to India and try to live off of selling videos and hamburgers to each other. That's what makes America great.
[/QUOTE]
=======================================

Suprise, Suprise Rich, that's exactly what we do. :D

<small>[ 05-18-2004, 02:45 PM: Message edited by: lliam ]</small>
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Re: Microsoft’s £250m Media Player fight.

Postby rwcrooks » Wed May 19, 2004 8:39 am

Lliam,

Thanks for the update. I remembered reading something about the proposed UK/France merger in Churchill's History of the Second World War when I read it about 10 years ago.

Having recently traveled to Europe (well, 2002) I have to say that the Euro makes it easier for tourists (except for in France, where they were STILL pricing things in francs, even though the Euro was currency of the realm) and travel from country to country was easy.

As for my own views, I sure wouldn't like the US losing its own currency, etc., etc. A lot of the EU countries were created, massively altered post-1917, others don't have a long national history (e.g. how long has Germany been a country?), but you live in England!

When is the referendum going to be held? :confused:
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Re: Microsoft’s £250m Media Player fight.

Postby lliam » Wed May 19, 2004 2:08 pm

(e.g. how long has Germany been a country?)
===========================================
Hi again Rich,

I know the German tribes defeated the Romans.
I find the timeline below interesting.
=======
World History Timeline
Pre-15,000 years BC: Hunters and Gatherers

15,000 years BC to 10,000 BC: "Old Stone Age" - The total world population 10,000 years ago is estimated to have been 5 million people.

10,000 years BC to 3,500 BC: "Neolithic or New Stone Age" - There were some small settlements of "modern" humans in Central Europe during this time as evidenced by the discoveries at Unteruhldingen am Bodensee (Lake Constance). This settlement dates 4000 years BC.

3,500 BC to 1,200 BC: "Bronze Age" - "Otzi -The Ice Man" was discovered in the Italian Alps in 1991. His remains are dated to about 3000 BC.

1,200 BC to 500 BC: "Iron Age" - Large tribes migrate from Northern Europe into what we know as Germany about 1000 BC.

500 BC to 180 AD: Ancient Rome to Roman Empire

180 AD to 500 AD: Migrations of tribes within Europe - culminating in 476 with the invasion of Rome by German tribes and the fall of Rome.

500 AD to 1000 AD : "Dark Ages" or "Middle Ages" in Europe. During this time there were Viking and Muslim raids into Europe.

1000 AD to 1500 AD: "Late Middle Ages" in Europe. During a five year period in the the mid-1300's the Bubonic Plague caused the population of Europe to drop by 33%. The Plaque (referred to as "Black Death" was transferred from rats to humans by fleas. Rise of the Holy Roman Empire with Germany at it's center. First Crusade in 1096 to free Jerusalem from Muslim control. From 1337 to 1453 was the "100 Years War" between France and England. Use of surnames developed - initially with aristocracy and later with commoners.

1500 AD to 1600 AD: : "Renaisance Period" also "Age of Reformation"

1450 AD to 1750 AD: "Age of Discovery" During the time period 1618 to 1648, all of Europe was involved in the Thirty Years War. An estimated 50% of those living in the area of Germany perished either directly from the conflict or its after effects. The long lasting economic turmoil that resulted caused many to seek refuge elsewhere.

Total world population today stands at 6 billion people.
=============================
When is the referendum going to be held?
------------------------------
June 10, say 'No', Rich. :)
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Re: Microsoft’s £250m Media Player fight.

Postby lliam » Sat Jun 05, 2004 10:38 am

'Unfair'

Microsoft claims that it should not be fined at all because it did not know its behaviour would breach EU law.
---------------------------
EU COMPETITION FINES
Hoffman-La Roche (2001, vitamins cartel): 462m euros

BASF (2001, vitamins cartel): 296m euros

Lafarge (2002, plasterboard cartel): 250m euros

Arjo Wiggins (2001, paper cartel): 184m euros

Nintendo (2002, restrictive distribution practices): 149m euros

----------------
Microsoft spokesman Tom Brookes said the firm believed the settlement it proposed last week, which would have let it offer rival products alongside its own, "would have been better for European consumers".

The software giant said it would continue to co-operate with the EU but would seek a legal review of the Commission's decision.

The appeal is expected to begin in the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg but the legal battle could go to the European Court of Justice.

The fine tops the EU's previous record of 462m euros. That penalty was imposed on pharmaceutical group Roche after a scandal involving price fixing in the vitamin pills market.
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Re: Microsoft’s £250m Media Player fight.

Postby lliam » Sat Jun 05, 2004 10:48 am

Battle lines

Industry experts say that the non-financial penalties are likely to hurt Microsoft more by opening it to further challenges and altering the regulatory environment it operates in.



Mario Monti, EU Competition Watch Commissioner announcement.

Mr Monti has ordered Microsoft to reveal details of its Windows software codes within 120 days, to make it easier for rivals to design compatible products.

Microsoft must offer a stripped-down version of its Windows operating system minus the firm's MediaPlayer audiovisual software within 90 days.

Microsoft will still be allowed to sell Windows with Media Player bundled in.

Rivals including Realnetworks welcomed the move, saying that at long last the playing field had been levelled.

Dave Stewart, one of Realnetworks' lawyers, said in an interview with Reuters that the ruling probably will allow the company to increase its market share.

"Manufacturers will take advantage of their freedom," Mr Stewart said. "For the first time in five years they are not going to be forced to include Windows MediaPlayer."

Announcing the penalties, Mr Monti said they restored the conditions for fair competition in the software market.

"Dominant companies have a special responsibility to ensure that the way they do business doesn't prevent competition... and does not harm consumers and innovation," he said.

By setting limits on Microsoft's practice of bundling software and services with its Windows operating system, Mr Monti has struck a blow against a key part of the software firm's commercial strategy.

He said the Commission would appoint a trustee to make sure Microsoft reveals "complete and accurate" software codes "and that the two versions of Windows are equivalent in terms of performance."

Mr Monti's demand for a more transparent Windows proved the sticking point in failed talks between Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer and Mr Monti last week.

The five-year-old EU case was launched after complaints from rival makers of audiovisual software that Microsoft was protecting its own media player and squeezing out others.

Mr Monti said Brussels' decision did not break new legal ground in either Europe or the US, nor did it expropriate Microsoft's intellectual property.

"Our decision is about protecting consumer choice and stimulating innovation", he told a news conference.
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Re: Microsoft’s £250m Media Player fight.

Postby lliam » Sun Jul 04, 2004 9:51 am

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp says a U.S. antitrust court victory last week has a lot to teach Europeans at a time when the software giant faces a major antitrust case here, but experts differ over whether the U.S. decision will make a difference.

European Union Court of First Instance Judge Bo Vesterdorf is considering a Microsoft request that he suspend sanctions imposed by the European Commission for the firm's abuse of its dominance of personal computer operating systems.

Vesterdorf will make his decision on the heels of a U.S. Court of Appeals decision in Washington that gave Microsoft a sweeping victory by essentially upholding a deal on remedies that it negotiated with the Justice Department.

"I do hope that people in Europe and around the world will pause and perhaps take a bit of time" to read the decision, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said, noting it "addresses many of the precisely same questions that are front and centre in Europe."

The two courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington and the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg, have different procedures, different precedents, interpret different laws and have different cases at issue.

But while some of those differences may work against Microsoft, others could help it in the coming weeks as a European Union judge makes a decision crucial to the company and enforcement of antitrust law.

The EU executive ordered Microsoft to offer a version of Windows without its Media Player audiovisual software and to provide more information to rival makers of server software.

The Commission says that if the remedies are suspended they will become irrelevant by the time the case is over years from now, while Microsoft says the sanctions will damage the company in ways that cannot be undone.

In the United States, both Microsoft and the government applauded the Washington decision because both had been in the same corner, which had been challenged by the State of Massachusetts and two anti-Microsoft trade groups.

"This is a resounding victory for the Justice Department and American consumers," said the head of the antitrust division, assistant attorney general R. Hewitt Pate.

The ruling endorsed sanctions on Microsoft that its opponents argued did little to change the company's behaviour. They point out that nearly all computers sold today come with Microsoft Windows and no competition has developed since the case was brought in 1998.

But the U.S. appeals court said that Microsoft's business practices were changed in a useful way that did not harm the company.

"We say, well done!" the unanimous ruling said in commending the lower court judge's approach.

An antitrust expert said one reason for the U.S. ruling was deference to those who had worked closely with the situation -- the Justice Department and the lower court.

The judge had "a lot of discretion in formulating a remedy and the appeals court thought that she exercised it reasonably and didn't want to second guess the details," said Jonathan Baker, a professor of law at American University in Washington.

By contrast, the Court of First Instance has been busy clipping the wings of the Commission, overturning three of its bans on mergers in recent years.

It has narrowed what is called the Commission's "margin of appreciation" and found it made many "manifest errors."

"The Court of First Instance hasn't been deferential" to the Commission, said Chris Bright, an antitrust lawyer for Shearman and Sterling in London.

The U.S. decision might give Vesterdorf pause about deciding differently, Bright said, making him wonder how far out of sync with the United States he wants to be.

But American University's Baker said "the violations were a lot different in the European Union and the United States. There's no reason the remedy has to be the same."

Typically, a decision by the president of the Luxembourg takes a few months. :cool:
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