EU Slaps Microsoft

The EU slapped Microsoft with a hefty $357 million fine for not complying with its anti trust order in 2004. This is the above-the-fold tech news of the day and every news site has its take. Microsoft is obviously not happy and is stamping its foot, and calling it unfair. The EU says it’ll boost the fine significantly per day if Microsoft doesn’t comply with its ruling by July 31st. Ouch!

With Bill Gates fading out this is a major hassle for Ray Ozzie and the new decision makers. But it doesn’t pay to ignore Europe’s regulators. In case of Microsoft, well if you don’t learn from the past, you pay … megamillions, which you can earn back in a couple of days, shall we say!
Update: An internal email from Microsoft’s legal captain Brad Smith gives a behind-the-scenes look at Microsoft’s EU compliance efforts. Brad’s emphasis is on the lack of clarity–he uses the term several times. He also says more than 300 employees were assembled to meet the compliance. That’s substantial manpower, which makes it even more surprising that the company fell short of compliance.