E.U. to Consult Microsoft Rivals
European Union regulators are analyzing Microsoft's proposal to comply with an antitrust ruling and will seek advice from the software maker's rivals before deciding whether to impose additional fines. If the European Union deems the proposal insufficient, it might slap sanctions of up to 5 percent of daily global sales.
Microsoft has to answer complaints from the E.U. head office that it was not fully complying with last year's ruling that the company abusively wielded its Windows domination to lock out competitors. That ruling carried a fine of $624 million and orders to share Windows server code with rivals under certain conditions. Both sides were in contact until almost midnight Tuesday, the E.U.-imposed deadline.
Windows to Lose Previously Permanent Links
In the United States, Microsoft has agreed to change its Windows XP operating system to address concerns over customers' inability to remove traces of built-in Windows programs from their computer screens. As part of its antitrust settlement with the government and 17 states, Microsoft agreed to give consumers the choice of removing links to Internet Explorer if they want to use an alternate Web browser. The company also agreed to give consumers the same choice to remove links to programs such as Windows Media Player or the Outlook Express e-mail program.
EBay to Buy Shopping.com for $620 Million
EBay, the largest online marketplace, has agreed to buy Shopping.com, a price-comparison Web site, for about $620 million. EBay's offer of $21 a share is a 20 percent premium over Shopping.com's closing price yesterday. The companies announced the agreement after the close of regular trading.
MobilePro Scores First Quarterly Profit
MobilePro, a Bethesda wireless and broadband telecommunications company, reported its first quarterly profit, earning $100,368 (less than a penny a share) on revenue of $23.2 million for its fourth quarter ended March 31. That compares with a loss of $726,503 (1 cent) on $311,355 in revenue a year ago. For the year, the company lost $5.3 million (2 cents) on $46.5 million in revenue, compared with a loss of $2.2 million (2 cents) on $311,355 in revenue.