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Microsoft fined $11.8m for rigging Office price

updated 02:35 pm EDT, Fri April 10, 2009

MS Fined for Price Fixing

German antitrust regulatory officials today fined Microsoft 9 million Euros, or the equivalent of $11.8 million, for alleged price fixing on its Office suite. The American software developer was found responsible for unfairly setting the price of Office 2007 Home and Student illegally by talking to Microsoft about the price before promptly promoting the software together. An official commentary defends the verdict by noting that it was Microsoft's particular approach to the deal and not the act of agreeing to a price itself that broke the law.

"Not every contact between supplier and retailer regarding resale prices constitutes an illegal concerted practice," the officials said. "[But] in the present case, this boundary has been crossed."

Microsoft intends to ensure it follows the law in the future.

The fine is the latest from Europe for Microsoft, which has faced a penalty as large as $1.4 billion from the European Commission for its alleged refusal to properly open certain operating system code to outsiders. It risks additional punishment from a newer complaint that accuses it of unfairly bundling Internet Explorer and discouraging users from trying competing web browsers.

By Electronista Staff


  1. rvhernandez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005


    MS European Tax

    And here Mr. Balmer is Microsoft's Tax! Why the h*** MS cares about how much a PC costs when they don't make them themselves? Seems like Mr. B is too concerned about what Apple's doing rather than running his own company.

    You make software Mr. B, why don't you concentrate on not making it crappy!

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004



    They fined MS for an alleged action? Do they not need to prove their allegation before hitting them with a fine?

  1. ggirton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    this makes sense

    Microsoft talked to Microsoft about promoting Office 2007 Home and Student together.

    I'm confused -- there HAS to be more to the story than THAT.

    Perhaps the person writing this story, and the person finding out about it, were similarly cautious in not talking with each other. They must have wanted to avoid the "I know what the heck I'm talking about" tax. And they surely have done so.

  1. MacnnChester

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    This might help...

    It's about time some governments actually enforce laws against bs business practices.

  1. daqman

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2000


    Poorly written

    Thanks to MacnnChester for the link. This Macnn article made no sense.

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