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EU to MS "We want our cut!"
Written by Daniel   
Thursday, 05 April 2007 10:16
EU eyes royalties squeeze for Microsoft
By Colin Barker
Special to CNET
Published: April 5, 2007, 6:18 AM PDT
Microsoft could be forced to give rivals vital technical information in exchange for little or no royalties, according to a newspaper report.

The software company originally wanted 5.95 percent in royalty payments on software that uses certain Microsoft-patented routines that are sold by the company to its rivals as part of the settlement with the European Commission.
According to the Financial Times, which claims to have seen a confidential internal European Commission document, Microsoft was told it could have zero or 1 percent of the disputed royalty payments


The document was written by Neil Barrett, the expert agreed on by Microsoft and the Commission. According to Barrett, at a 5.95 percent royalty rate, Microsoft's rivals would recoup their development costs within seven years. Barrett said in the document that this would be unacceptable, and that even a royalty of 1 percent was too much.

Microsoft's suggested remedy would be "prohibitively high...and should be reduced in line with this analysis," Barrett said, according to the Financial Times report.

The Commission maintained that Microsoft's proposed solution and the 1 percent figure would not be acceptable to Microsoft's rivals, either.

According to the Financial Times, the Commission understands that prices proposed by Microsoft would not "allow (rivals IBM, Sun Microsystems and Oracle) to develop products that would be viable from a business perspective."... More

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