Feeds

Microsoft in ‘constructive’ EU talks

Outstanding concerns

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft said this week that it was working with European antitrust officials on their investigation of the software giant.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer said that the Redmond, Washington-based software firm was working "constructively" with EU antitrust officials, who are attempting to determine if the company has abused its powerful position in the computer operating system market. The investigation has been under way for about three years and a decision is expected in the next three months.

"We are working very constructively with the EU and hope we can reach a mutually acceptable resolution," Ballmer told Reuters. However, he declined to predict an outcome of the investigation, saying, "I oversee the company, but I am not personally in the middle of the negotiations."

The comments come just days after Philip Lowe, a senior civil servant in the European Commission's competition division, said that Microsoft had so far failed to offer the European Commission grounds for a settlement in the antitrust dispute. "We still have outstanding concerns," Lowe said, adding that the Commission would have come to a "negative decision" if it weren't for the ongoing dialogue between the two parties.

The heart of the disagreement revolves around whether Microsoft has abused its dominant position in the computer operating system market by making certain versions of its Windows software less compatible with non-Microsoft server software. The Commission has also accused the company of suppressing competition in the market for video- and audio-playing software by bundling its Media Player software with Windows.

Unless the EC and Microsoft can reach a settlement, a solution will be imposed on the company by the Commission. The EC also has the power to impose a fine on Microsoft of up to USD3 billion, or about 10 percent of the firm's annual sales.

In February of this year, an organisation that represents some of the world's biggest tech firms -- including Nokia, Eastman Kodak, Fujitsu, NTT, Sun Microsystems, AOL Time Warner and Oracle -- urged the EU to investigate the dominance of Microsoft's Windows XP software. The current action against Microsoft does not cover operating systems newer than Windows 2000, but the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) said that the company's alleged market abuses in the last three years also deserve investigation.

In January 2003, Microsoft agreed to make substantial changes to its .Net Passport system in order to avoid a possible fine for breaking EU data protection laws. © ENN

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Microsoft: Windows version you probably haven't upgraded to yet is ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of Windows 8.1 will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.