Full disclosure and disclaimer time. I work for Microsoft. The following opinion is my personal opinion and does not represent, to the best of my knowledge, the opinion of anyone in MS management.
Microsoft and Intel are taking it on the chin in Europe these days. On Wednesday, the EU is expected to bring down a heavy fine on Intel for its myriad anticompetitive activities at the expense of AMD. The Wall Street Journal reports it will be one of the biggest fines in the EU’s history.
The anticompetetition commissioner can fine Intel as much as 10 percent of its annual revenue. That would be a $3.8 billion fine based on 2008 revenue, more than triple the $1.16 billion charged to Microsoft for noncompliance in the EU’s long-running antitrust action against Redmond.
One has to wonder what percentage of the EU income is based on fines and what percentage is based on taxes. But most of all I wonder how long the EU would last without Intel and Microsoft products. I’m sure Intel and Microsoft could do without the EU a lot better than the EU could do without Microsoft and Intel.
I just wish Microsoft and Intel had the gumption and the means to demonstrate that to those commies.