p2pnet.net News:- Cynthia Webb calls it Microsoft’s Bundle of Trouble.
In Filter, her Washington Post column here, she says: “In the high-stakes poker match between Microsoft Corp. and the European Union, it’s hard to tell who’s bluffing. Filter awoke to news this morning that last-minute antitrust settlement talks, which featured a hasty trans-Atlantic flight this week by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer – had broken down over the age-old issue of ‘bundling.’ The EU wants Microsoft to produce two versions of its Windows operating system – one with its Media Player, one without. The company says that’s just not possible. So who’s gonna blink first?”
And in a press statement here, commissioner Mario Monti says in the end he, “had do decide what was best for competition and consumers in Europe” and that a settlement on the Microsoft case hadn’t been possible, going on:
“I therefore intend to propose to my colleagues in the Commission next Wednesday to adopt a decision, which has already received the unanimous backing of Member States. I would like to stress the constructive and co-operative spirit displayed by Microsoft in the last few weeks. I also want to acknowledge the high degree of professionalism of the members of the Microsoft team at all levels.
“We made substantial progress towards resolving the problems which have arisen in the past but we were unable to agree on commitments for future conduct. In the end, I had do decide what was best for competition and consumers in Europe. I believe they will be better served with a decision that creates a strong precedent.
“It is essential to have a precedent which will establish clear principles for the future conduct of a company with such a strong dominant position in the market.”
A Microsoft statement here says:
“Discussions aimed at resolving the European Commission’s investigation of Microsoft Corp. have concluded today in a spirit of professionalism and cooperation but without a settlement, Microsoft confirmed today. ‘I believe we reached agreement on the issues of the case,’ said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. ‘But we were unable to agree on principles for new issues that could arise in the future’.”
What happens now?
It’s a dead certainty Microsoft isn’t going to cave in to fines which could amount to $3 billion and:
“Today is just another step in what could be a long process,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s senior vp and general counsel.