Microsoft Gets 20-Day European Reprieve
Microsoft (MSFT) has won a 20-day reprieve from an order by the European Commission that could result in a fine of $4 million a day.
Microsoft has agreed to supply information that would help competitors make their servers compatible with Windows, but the commission said the software giant has not gone far enough to satisfy antitrust concerns. The new deadline, which was granted at Microsoft's request, gives the company until April 23 to answer the commission's statement of concern.
The delay appears to be administrative and is not surprising given the complexity of the issues involved and the sheer mass of information that must be provided.
The potential fine dates back to a 2004 decision by the European Court of First Instance which found Microsoft guilty of abusing its power by not sharing information that would allow competitors to build software that would be compatible with Windows. Microsoft is appealing the decision and the $613 million fine levied at the time.One leg of the antitrust case related to the server issue, another to Microsoft's Media Player. Under the original order, Microsoft was ordered to build versions of Windows that do not contain its media player, which allows users to view and listen to various types of digital media. The media-free player is now available in Europe, as well as South Korean, which issued a separate antitrust order. Microsoft says it has supplied competitors with the information needed to make Linux or Unix servers compatible with Windows via a licensing program. The commission, though, isn't satisfied, saying that the cost of the licensing program is prohibitively high.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV