Quotes on the European Commission Ruling

A sampling of commentary from participants and observers on the European Commission's ruling Wednesday on Microsoft.

The European's ruling requires Microsoft to pay $613 million in fines, release a second version of Windows XP with Windows Media Player stripped out and to share interface and integration information about its server software. Read the full article here.

"Today's decision restores the conditions for fair competition in the markets concerned and establish clear principles for the future conduct of a company with such a strong dominant position." -- Mario Monti, European Competition Commissioner, European Commission.

"We will file our appeal in accordance with the timetable set by the European Court of First Instance, and we will ask the court to suspend many or perhaps all of the sanctions that the European Commission ordered today." -- Brad Smith, senior vice president and general counsel, Microsoft.

"We worked hard to reach an agreement that would address the European Commission's concerns and still allow us to innovate and improve our products for consumers. We respect the Commission's authority, but we believe that our settlement offer from last week would have offered far more choices and benefits to consumers." Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer, Microsoft.

"Far from promoting consumer interests, the latest EU order, pure and simple, transforms antitrust into a corporate welfare program for market losers." -- Robert A. Levy, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a free market think tank.

"The decision on workgroup servers is vital to creating real and meaningful choices for business and consumer users. The decision on Windows Media Player is critical to promoting a variety of platforms on which digital content can be delivered." -- Ken Wasch, president of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), an organization that pushed for much tougher sanctions against Microsoft in the U.S. antitrust case.

"With the appeal process set to last for years, it is hard to see Microsoft being swayed from its usual strategy: bundle now, litigate later." -- "Can Microsoft Be Tamed?" The Economist.

"Sun applauds the European Commission's decision in the Microsoft case. … For the first time in many years, IT managers will be able to choose from a variety of work group servers, confident that they will interoperate with Microsoft desktops. Because the decision is forward looking and covers future product releases, consumers can be confident that other work group server suppliers will be able to meet their needs even as Microsoft introduces new products." -- Lee Patch, vice president, legal affairs, Sun Microsystems. Sun's complaint filed with the European Union in December 1998 prompted the investigation that resulted in Wednesday's ruling.

"This decision is fundamentally significant because the European Commission has formally declared that Microsoft’s media player bundling strategy is illegal and has established the guideposts for future bundling cases." -- Bob Kimball, vice president and general counsel, RealNetworks. RealNetworks is suing Microsoft in the United States for allegedly illegal tactics including bundling the Windows Media Player with its operating system.

"The ruling will have little impact on customers or PC manufacturers. … The inability of the EC to come to a legal, fair and impactful ruling doesn't surprise Gartner. As with the U.S. antitrust ruling, this case shows that it's easy to declare Microsoft guilty of holding or abusing a monopoly, but it's hard to determine remedies." -- David Mitchell Smith, IT analyst, Gartner.

Seen a good quote you think should be added to this list? Send e-mail to [email protected]. Or add your own pithy comment below.


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