Microsoft was fined millions of euros by the European Commission two years ago and today Microsoft has started it’s fight back in the European Court to get that money back and argue that it’s been treated badly, but this time it’s not just money that is at stake but the reputacion of both Microsoft and the European Commission, here’s part of a Question & Answers article from the BBC about the court case.
What’s all this about?
Microsoft has abused its virtual monopoly in the computer world to muscle out smaller rivals, especially those that make media players and software for servers – at least that’s the finding of the European Commission’s competition watchdog.
Back in 2004, the commission fined Microsoft 497m euros (£343m, $615m) and forced it to offer a version of its Windows operating system without Microsoft’s own media player.
The company was also told to give rivals more information about how Windows works, so they can make their own software integrate better with the operating system that runs some 90% of the world’s computers.
But it’s not just money and Microsoft’s reputation that are at stake.
For the Commission this is the granddaddy of all anti-trust cases.
The EU’s competition watchdog has suffered a string of defeats in court recently. If it loses the Microsoft case, its credibility could be undermined for good.
What does Microsoft have to say for itself?
The company strongly denies the charges brought by the European Commission.
Just because a company is big and successful, says Microsoft, it should not have to share all its secrets and innovations with rivals.
The company says it has followed all the rules, and that the commission has “erred” in applying them.
If the Commission succeeds, says Microsoft, consumers would suffer, because there would be fewer incentives to innovate.
Furthermore consumers demand “bundled” solutions – all-inclusive software packages that feature basic things like media players – says Microsoft, and don’t want the pain of having to download or buy everything separately.
Via: BBC News