EC to MS: empty your pockets please

· by Steve · Read in about 1 min · (160 Words)

Holy cow, the EC has now fined Microsoft a cumulative figure of £1.27bn (~$2.6bn) for what they say is the worst case of non-compliance with antitrust / competition law in 50 years. Even when set against the quadzillion dollars Microsoft makes every waking second that’s a pretty robust kick in the knackers if I ever saw one. The latest round covers the period where MS finally opened up some specs about desktop interoperability, but charged competitors disproportionate royalties to use them - supposedly because APIs now represent ‘significant innovation’ if you’re Microsoft, although in my opinion an API spec represents about as much innovation as my next shopping list. Weirdly I’m of the opinion that implementations are where the vast majority of development work goes, but what do I know?

With any luck, this latest fine will give MS pause if they try to use royalties as an alternative way to stifle competition following their latest ‘we’re open, honest’ touchy-feely announcement.