Microsoft is no stranger to the receiving end of anti-competitive allegations. These may play out into incentives, deal brokering, partnerships, or even more aggressive behavior. Well, not this time.
In 2004 the European Union recognized Microsoft’s practices as anti-competitive and went one step further with an Anti-trust ruling. This 2004 ruling was very serious: 497 million euro fine ($748 million) plus stringent requirements to play fairly with competitors.
As of last Wednesday, the EU recognized Microsoft’s non-compliance with playing fair. So, the EU decided to take things to the next level: 899 million euro fine ($1.35 billion) plus really play fair. Needless to say this record fine is truly massive.
Microsoft is a very large, successful company. To remain “competitive”, MSFT seems to have a somewhat ongoing re-org within the company. From my experience: constant re-orgs, role re-definitions, and business plan changes are ways to lose track of what you just did, what you’re doing, and what’s next.
I wonder if turmoil in upper management (especially within the Live Division), makes it harder to properly follow legal stipulations, while riding that razor-sharp-edge of competing. I am curious how they will react with the ball again in their court.