John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Microsoft on EU Antitrust Fine: It’s Excessive and Unfair, Just Like Your Exchange Rate

Calling it “excessive” and “especially unfair,” Microsoft appealed to EU regulators today for a reduction in the massive fine imposed upon it three years ago.

Meted out after it was determined that Microsoft had failed to comply with a 2004 antitrust judgement that required the company to charge reasonable rates for its interoperability protocols, the $1.26 billion fine was the largest ever imposed by the EU against a single company, the first to be issued for noncompliance with a court order and, in Microsoft’s opinion, “unnecessary, unlawful and totally disproportionate.”

“This case would not have arisen if the commission had been as explicit with respect to rates which it wanted Microsoft to charge as it had been with all other terms of licensing proposed by Microsoft,” Jean-François Bellis, Microsoft’s attorney told the EU General Court. “How can the commission fine Microsoft for failing to apply reasonable rates from June 2006 to October 2007 when the final parameters were only determined on October 22, 2007?”

In other words, it’s the commission’s fault the fine was so high, because it didn’t give Microsoft the information it needed to avoid it in the first place.

Interesting argument, though it seems doubtful it will carry much weight with a court when, according to commission lawyers, Microsoft is on record claiming it understood what reasonable rates were.

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December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

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December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

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December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work