Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

EU, M$ Work on Antitrust Compromise

Filed under

The European Union and Microsoft Corp. entered another big week in their long-standing antitrust case, with EU regulators insisting the software giant must make more concessions to comply with a landmark ruling by Wednesday or face huge fines.

Over the weekend, both sides continued to work on a compromise that has increasingly centered on pricing and royalties Microsoft can charge to open up its Windows source code to competitors so they can better dovetail their products to Microsoft's platform.

"We continue to work hard with the EU Commission toward an agreement on compliance," Microsoft spokesman Tom Brookes said late Sunday.

EU antitrust chief Neelie Kroes said last week she wants to take stock of the situation by Wednesday and could move to impose sanctions on noncompliance soon afterward if she is not satisfied with the concessions. The EU has within its rights the possibility to fine Microsoft up to 5 percent of its daily global sales for each day that a decision is not applied to its satisfaction.

EU antitrust regulators fined Microsoft a record $624 million when they ruled in March last year that the company abusively wielded its Windows software domination to lock competitors out of the market.

The orders of the European Commission require Microsoft to share under certain conditions its Windows server code with rivals to make the industry more competitive in the European marketplace.

Last month, the EU's regulators were still not convinced that the Windows version the company was forced to produce without Media Player was technically up to standard.

A Microsoft source said pricing disagreements on what it could charge for opening up its system were among the most pressing issues now.

"Pricing is certainly a question on the interoperability side - on the protocol side. What royalties can be specifically charged on the protocols" to improve interoperability, the source said.

Microsoft said in the past it would give competitors a price break on reviewing source code and more time to decide whether they want to license it.

Even if the June 1 deadline was missed, it could take more days or even a few weeks for the EU to actually impose sanctions, an EU official, who asked not be identified, said.

The last high-level contacts were last month, when Kroes held talks with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The two met at Ballmer's request to seek a breakthrough in the five-year standoff.

Associated Press

More in Tux Machines

ARTIK is the Tizen’s Trojan Horse to dominate the IoT ecosystem

As part of the Forum “Tizen for the Internet of Things” held on September 22 in Moscow, Samsung Electronics has presented a new family of maker boards and modules named ARTIK, in addition to the infrastructure of the operating system Tizen 3.0. Samsung ARTIK’s value proposition, as declared by Samsung, is to reinvent the prototyping process by leveraging world-class data security granted by the company as well as a wide array of tools, both hardware and software, such as the ARTIK Modules and Cloud, formerly known as SmartThings Open Cloud. Read more

today's leftovers

today's howtos

Android Leftovers

  • Google Pixel review: The best Android phone, even if it is a little pricey
    Welcome to the age of Google Hardware. Apparently tired of letting third-party Android OEMs serve as the stewards of Android handsets, Google has become a hardware company. (Again). Earlier this year Google, launched a hardware division with former Motorola President Rick Osterloh at the helm. With the high-ranking title of "Senior Vice President," Osterloh doesn't oversee a side project—his group is on even footing with Android, Search, YouTube, and Ads. The hardware group is so powerful inside Google that it was able to merge Nexus, Pixel, Chromecast, OnHub, ATAP, and Glass into a single business unit. The group's coming out party was October 4, 2016, where it announced Google Home, Google Wifi, a 4K Chromecast, the Daydream VR headset, and the pair of phones we're looking at today: the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. The arrival of the Pixel phones marks the apparent death of the Nexus line; Google says that it has "no plans" for future Nexus devices. With the new branding comes a change in strategy, too. The Pixel brand is about making devices that are 100 percent Google, so despite Google's position as the developer of Android, get ready for Google-designed hardware combined with exclusive Google software.
  • Hands-on with the LeEco Le Pro3: services first, Android second
    LeEco’s flagship Le Pro3 smartphone isn’t trying to compete with the Google Pixel, which puts modern Google services in front of a stock Android backdrop. After playing with the Le Pro3 at the company’s U.S. launch event in San Francisco today, I’m left feeling that it’s an easy, low-cost way to get the full experience of LeEco’s applications. There are proprietary LeEco utility tools like the browser, email, calendar, messages, notes, and phone apps, along with bloatware like Yahoo Weather, but mostly the Pro3 is a means of distribution for the LeEco apps, like Live, LeVidi, and Le. There is also a standard-issue My LeEco app for managing services like EcoPass membership. Under it all is the EUI custom user interface. If you swipe left from the home screen, you see videos that LeEco recommends you watch — not Google Now.
  • Report: Google reaches agreement with CBS for 'Unplugged' web TV service - Fox and Disney may follow