EU planning more fines for Microsoft?

Microsoft could be dinged more than $2 billion more in fines. We don't need this.

I read this article on European Commission chief Neelie Kroes last night, and Tuesday morning woke up to news that the European Union is set to levy even more fines against Microsoft. Why? According to Bloomberg News:

European Union regulators may fine Microsoft Corp. for failing to comply with a 2004 antitrust order to charge "reasonable" fees for patent licenses on operating system software, three people familiar with the matter said. The fine may be announced as soon as February 27, said the people, who declined to be identified because the decision isn't public. Microsoft said in a January 24 U.S. regulatory filing that the penalty may be as much as 1.5 billion euros ($2.2 billion).

Wow. I continue to believe that the industry is able to take care of Microsoft by itself. Ms. Kroes and the European Commission are fighting yesterday's battle, while open source and SaaS are already winning today's battle against Microsoft, step by step.

I don't believe in victory by government fiat. I believe that markets--that competitors--are more than capable of toppling Microsoft's lard-laden dominance of 20th-century markets. Open source doesn't need the European Commission's help. I won't say "no" to Ms. Kroes taking a few billion from Microsoft's bank account, but we don't need it to win.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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