Monday, October 22, 2007

Microsoft Bows to EU Regulators On 2004 Antitrust Measures - WSJ.com

Interesting times -- Europe seems like a logical place for this episode, which appears to be at the intersection of capitalism, socialism, and democracy...

Legal experts said the judgment came down so firmly against Microsoft that the company had little room to mount an appeal. Instead, Microsoft sought a deal.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes brokered one over dinner in a small restaurant in Mrs. Kroes's home country of the Netherlands, according to Ms. Kroes. (Read the full text of Ms. Kroes's statement.)

Under the agreement, Microsoft will license all of its intellectual property, except patents, necessary for competitors to work with a version of Windows used on business servers. Competitors will now pay only a one-time fee for the license of 10,000 euros, rather than royalties. If they believe they need to license patents from Microsoft, Microsoft is required to do so at the rate of 0.4% of the competitors' revenue from the product, well below the 5.95% rate originally suggested by Microsoft.

Mrs. Kroes, for her part, stopped the clock on daily fines of up to €3 million per day against Microsoft and declared the U.S. software giant was – at least for now -- in Europe's good graces. "As of today, the major issues concerning compliance have been resolved," she said.

Microsoft Bows to EU Regulators On 2004 Antitrust Measures - WSJ.com

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