by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 17th 2007 3:52am
Given just how many times EU regulators have complained about Microsoft's inability to comply with antitrust rulings, it probably comes as little to no surprise to find out that an EU court has rejected Microsoft's appeal of the antitrust ruling against the company, that could cost the company well over $600 million. The court continues to insist that Microsoft needs to sell a version of Windows without Microsoft's media player included while also requiring it to open up more to competitors who want to make sure their software works well with Windows. Of course, it's still not clear how this benefits consumers in any way. It's true that Microsoft bundles its media player, but many, many people have been willing to download and use alternatives. Also, Microsoft is a lot more open than most companies in allowing competitors technology to work on its operating systems. The company has known for quite some time that its success as a platform depends on this. It's hard to see how these are problems that requires regulatory involvement when the market should suffice. There's no doubt that Microsoft has done some nasty things to smaller competitors, but in judging whether or not an antitrust ruling makes sense, the final analysis should depend on whether or not the customer will be better or worse off. It's not clear how the customer is any better off from this decision.
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