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Microsoft, European Commission Make Nice

The long international nightmare appears to be over. The European Commission and Microsoft settled their antitrust case in a phone call on Monday morning. The agreement came after a round of dinner diplomacy between Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes in the first week of October, followed up by daily phone calls to hammer out the details.

Highlights: Microsoft won't appeal the Court of First Instance ruling, Microsoft's communications protocols will now only cost rivals a one-time fee of about $14,300 and a patent royalty will now amount to 0.4 percent of a competing product's sales as opposed to an earlier royalty of 5.95 percent. Click here for more details.

The case will be sure to generate continuing minor spats of the sort that occasionally flare up between Microsoft and its antitrust overseers at the U.S. Justice Department or state governments. But barring bad behavior on either side, both parties are now free to move on to other things.

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 23, 2007 at 11:57 AM


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