A good news came just few minutes ago from Brussels: The European Commission has fined Microsoft with record-high Euro 899,000,000 (correct – 899 million)!
The European Commission has imposed a penalty payment of € 899 million on Microsoft for non-compliance with its obligations under the Commission’s March 2004 Decision (see IP/04/382) prior to 22 October 2007. Today’s Decision, adopted under Article 24(2) of Regulation 1/2003, finds that, prior to 22 October 2007, Microsoft had charged unreasonable prices for access to interface documentation for work group servers.
“Microsoft was the first company in fifty years of EU competition policy that the Commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an antitrust decision”, said European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. “I hope that today’s Decision closes a dark chapter in Microsoft’s record of non-compliance with the Commission’s March 2004 Decision and that the principles confirmed by the Court of First Instance ruling of September 2007 will govern Microsoft’s future conduct”.
Full press release at the site of the EC. The whole story about Microsoft’s behavior is here.
Sources, having relations with the Bulgarian Ministry of State Administration, (and knowing well both Microsoft-Bulgaria and their partner CAPK “Progress”, speaking on the condition of anonymity) which signed a what is widely know the biggest corruption software deal with a Microsoft partner in Bulgaria to buy MS Windows/MS Office at prices several times higher the ones on the street, made a comment, “Big deal, Microsoft will get back their money from deals like ours; let’s not forget that in three years the current contract expires, and the Bulgarian taxpayers will be charged one more time, so that they [Microsoft] can get their money back.”
My comment: if Microsoft continues with their policy, established under Bill Gates, they may end up providing even bigger portion of the EU budget. At the same time, they may end up not buying Yahoo, because their cash will be constantly going for paying the European Commission’s fines. It’s time for you, guys, to wake up! And if you can’t figure out what to do, there’s always a good way to start with: send me an e-mail, I would be happy to give you some advise. Here’s a hint for Bulgaria: stop paying under the table in order to sell your software – surely you don’t need all this bad image and negative PR.
Finally!!! Let them feel what is like to pay something }:-]