EU regulators said yesterday that Microsoft Corp had agreed to cut royalties for server software rivals and hand over information to open source developers, obeying part of a 2004 antitrust ruling upheld by an appeals court last month.
If the software maker does not keep to the terms of the deal, competitors will be able to take it to a British court to seek damages.
"Microsoft has finally agreed to three substantial changes," the European Commission said.
The company will charge a one-time payment of 10,000 euros (US$14,310) to companies that want technical information to help them make software compatible with Microsoft's Windows desktop operating system.
It will also allow that data to go to open source companies such as Linux, and will cut the price it charges for worldwide licenses -- including patents -- to less than 7 percent of what Microsoft originally claimed.
"The agreements will be enforceable before the High Court in London, and will provide for effective remedies, including damages, for third-party developers in the event that Microsoft breaches those agreements," the European Commission said.
The EU's executive arm said it would soon decide if Microsoft violated EU law by overcharging for this interoperability information. It accused the company of going too far and threatened fines.
Regulators warned that Microsoft had "ongoing obligations to continue to comply" with the 2004 ruling that found it guilty of monopoly abuse, ordering it to share information with rivals, market a version of Windows without a media player and pay a fine of 497 million euros.
"It is regrettable that Microsoft has only complied after a considerable delay, two court decisions and the imposition of daily penalty payments," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said.
"The measures that the Commission has insisted upon will benefit computer users by bringing competition and innovation back to the server market," she said. "I have always said that open source software developers must be able to take advantage of this remedy: Now they can."
Microsoft controls some 95 percent of the software running on desktop computers in offices and homes and has a 70 percent chunk of work group server software that controls how a group's desktops access each other and transfer tasks to printers.
Open source server software is now "virtually the only alternative for users and [is] thus the main surviving competitive constraint on Microsoft," the EU said, adding that handing over the technical information on Windows should offer consumers better products at better prices.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to