Practical Technology

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Microsoft: Too Big for the Law?


A $10 million fine here, a $100 million lawsuit settlement there; it’s just another day of Microsoft doing business.So, the EU finally let Microsoft have it. European Union regulators fined the boys from Redmond 280.5 million euros—thats 357.3 million American dollars—for defying a 2004 antitrust ruling and warned the company that bigger fines were to come.

How big? It could go up to 3 million euros a day after July 31 if Microsoft doesnt toe the line and finally give up proprietary information on how its software works. And I think we can say its a safe bet that Microsoft is not going to cooperate.

To which, I say, “So what?”

In Microsofts last reported quarter, the companys net income was $2.98 billion. Thats what? About $33 million a day of profit—not revenue—profit? So, to Microsoft, paying off the Europeans every day would be about what most of us pay for our morning café latte vente and a cookie at Starbucks.

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