EU Seeks To Rip Off Microsoft Again

    March 1, 2007

The European Union is at it again with their money hungry threats against U.S. based Microsoft. This time the EU suggested a fine as high as euro3 million (US$4 million) a day, claiming in a BusinessWeek article that the software company was still not offering a fair deal to rivals seeking to make Windows-compatible server products.

(This is an editorial comment by WebProNews Publisher and iEntry CEO Rich Ord)

In a statement attributable to Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith, Microsoft attacked the EU’s threat vigorously . Smith slammed the EU’s logic, "US and European patent offices have awarded Microsoft more than 36 patents for the technology in these protocols, which took millions of dollars to develop, and another 37 patents are pending, so it’s hard to see how the Commission can argue that even patented innovation must be made available for free."

I would go further than that and challenge the EU’s motivation and honesty in its approach toward Microsoft. I don’t even believe this is part of the underhanded trade war the EU is playing with the U.S. (as in Boeing vs. Airbus). In this case the EU is simply trying to rip off one of America’s largest companies with flimsy inconsistent and illogical rulings. The United States government should be standing by Microsoft’s side in this battle.

No U.S. company should be paying a fine to the EU . There is an underlying principal here that goes to the heart of international trade which requires the U.S. to respond to these actions. If Microsoft has to pay fines and give away its intellectual property in order to sell products in Europe then the U.S. should reciprocate.

Clearly this is a trade battle. Microsoft is not harming companies in Europe and the EU knows it. It’s really a large scale hustle to extract dollars … that is their only motivation.

Rich Ord
CEO, iEntry, Inc.
Publisher of WebProNews