Microsoft Facing EU Antitrust Probe for Office

Bloomberg this week reports that Microsoft is in talks with European Union antitrust officials regarding Word and Excel in addition to the high profile case surrounding the Redmond company's Internet Explorer web browser. Bloomberg cites four sources, who all declined to be identified because the talks are confidential, as saying Microsoft is in preliminary talks to settle two additional probes before EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes leaves office. The sources went on to say that any agreement would have to resolve a case over IE as well as a separate investigation into word processing and spreadsheet software.

Microsoft has already racked over $2 billion in antitrust fines from the European Union and, while we've been hearing all about the IE probe for months now, details on the probe into the Office software are a little hazy. Bloomberg sources say that the EU is investigating complaints that Microsoft doesn’t provide formatting and other information to allow rival products to work with Microsoft Office software but neither Microsoft nor the EU would comment on the report.

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  • mavroxur
    So wait a second, Microsoft is in trouble because their Word & Excel formats aren't open source basically? Isn't that kind of information known commonly as a "trade secret"? My Excel can't import Quickbooks databases, let's sue Intuit next.
    19
  • Parrdacc
    Just a thought: Has Microsoft considered trying to sue or bring to court the EU and its practices? I mean, not giving M$ any excuses mind you, it seems the EU is just looking for ways to sue companies for money no matter the reasoning, and seems they only like to go after Microsoft 99% of the time. I would assume that there is some legal precedant for specifically targeting only one company.

    All I am saying is careful with the EU. Once Microsoft is done who will they go after next?
    18
  • dman3k
    Great. Word and Excel???

    Are dictionary companies and graphic calculator companies complaining now?
    12
  • Other Comments
  • dman3k
    Great. Word and Excel???

    Are dictionary companies and graphic calculator companies complaining now?
    12
  • jhansonxi
    Office is like a landfill - it's big, ugly, and difficult to do anything about.
    -9
  • Parrdacc
    Just a thought: Has Microsoft considered trying to sue or bring to court the EU and its practices? I mean, not giving M$ any excuses mind you, it seems the EU is just looking for ways to sue companies for money no matter the reasoning, and seems they only like to go after Microsoft 99% of the time. I would assume that there is some legal precedant for specifically targeting only one company.

    All I am saying is careful with the EU. Once Microsoft is done who will they go after next?
    18