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.

Check out the original post here.

  • dman3k
    Great. Word and Excel???

    Are dictionary companies and graphic calculator companies complaining now?
  • jhansonxi
    Office is like a landfill - it's big, ugly, and difficult to do anything about.
  • 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?
  • 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.

  • IzzyCraft
    HAha WTH EU why don't you just ban Microsoft already come on you basically saying anything Microsoft does = anti trust now? What products are you not going to sue Microsoft over. Is your high piracy rate of Microsoft products telling you it's obviously a monopoly look how people steal their product.
  • manjyomethunder
    These antitrust charges are quite simply becoming absolutely ridiculous. If I were Microsoft, I'd just pull out of the European Market altogether and stick to the Americas and Asia. Then they'd see how fast they'd be begging for the "monopoly" that Microsoft is again. The average computer user is too stupid to switch over to Linux, and Macs are ever more overpriced there than they are here in the U.S.
  • blackened144
    SuperXXX123 said:
    Europeans are a bunch of fucking idiots.
    dangit...accidentally clicked thumbs up for a comment and now it's stuck.Why is Tom's the only site that doesn't let you change that or edit your comments?I havent looked to confirm this myself, but I think comments for articles like are all also contained in the forums section. You can edit your comment in the forum section.
  • zak_mckraken
    And just when we thought that EU had gone too far with the IE antitrust lawsuit, they go a step further. I wouldn't like to be a software company right now. You develop your own product and, as soon as it becomes widely used, you get sued for being the only one who offers it. Call me a capitalist, but I think Microsoft have every right to do whatever the hell they want with their software. It's the consumer's choice to use it or not.
  • audioee
    I think the EU should go after Adobe next for the creative suites they sell.

    MS should not sell Office in the EU. Split it up and sell each component independently and charge for it... Word $100, Excel $100, Power Point $100, Outlook $100... and don't discount a package because that is why they are in trouble. Let's see if EU customers go up in arms over that.
  • manjyomethunder
    zingamAnd loose even more billions! That's the reason you are not Microsoft! BTW too much crap cost in EU double the price of what it costs in US!
    Like I said, they'd be begging for Microsoft to come back. Microsoft just needs to show them who's "the boss" first.