money digest


Microsoft defeat

Microsoft conceded defeat in its battle with EU regulators when it said Monday that it will not appeal the recent ruling by the EU's second-highest court that upheld the European Commission's record €497 million ($685 million) fine against the software giant. The court last month upheld the commission's 2004 decision that Microsoft abused its dominant market position to outmuscle rivals. It said the commission, the EU's antitrust authority, was justified in ordering Microsoft to unbundle its music and video application Media Player from its Windows operating system. While Microsoft complied relatively quickly with the commission's demand on Media Player — issuing a European version of Windows without the application — it had long dragged its heels on software protocols.

TMG controls ATV

Herbert Kloiber's Tele Munchen Group has taken control of Austrian commercial TV channel ATV, acquiring an additional 42.4% of the channel from Bawag bank. The deal, which TMG valued "in the low-double-digit millions (of euros)," gives Kloiber 98% of ATV. The move had been expected. German commercial channels RTL and Sat.1 also had been eyeing ATV but pulled out of the bidding for Bawag's stake early on, leaving Kloiber as the only viable buyer. Kloiber now plans to build up ATV to make it a real player in Austria.

Hasbro transforms

Toymaker Hasbro on Monday reported a 62% increase in its third-quarter profit, fueled by sales of "Transformers" movie toys and its Playskool brand. Earnings rose to $161.6 million, with revenue up 18% to $1.2 billion. Hasbro's shares fell over concerns about how it will drive sales next year, Needham & Co. analyst Sean McGowan said.