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[News] [Rival] Microsoft Increases Bribery Program

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Microsoft Steps Up Program To Bribe Users To Search

,----[ Quote
| Apparently Microsoft's ongoing program to bribe users to use its search 
| engine wasn't getting enough attention, and the company seems to be upping 
| the ante. At least for a little while, it's now giving 25% cash back on eBay 
| purchases (limited to $200).   


Microsoft ups search engine bribe

,----[ Quote
| As part of its ongoing effort to shrink the Google gap with shameless 
| bribery, Microsoft is now offering 25 per cent off eBay purchases made by way 
| of its Live Search engine.  



More Microsoft Live Search Bribery

,----[ Quote ]
| Just using Microsoft online services isn't enough to get your ticket punched,
| though. You must run Internet Explorer (6.0 or higher) when you use those
| services. Even visiting getsearchperks.com with Firefox or Opera is a futile
| exercise; you will have to start IE to see what goodies the site has to
| offer. Oh, and if you sign up you'll have to install the Perk Counter toolbar
| to let Microsoft keep track of your tickets.


Microsoft Adds Incentives to Small-business Program

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has given small and mid-sized business customers more ways to earn
| cash to buy its software through partners by adding new products and product
| groups to its Big Easy program.


A Microsoft Midlife Crisis?

,----[ Quote ]
| Is Microsoft undergoing a midlife crisis? The software titan's recent mergers
| and acquisitions track record suggests as much. In an attempt to keep up with
| Google and other Web 2.0 stars, Microsoft looks as if it is getting pushed
| around at the bargaining table. The latest act of profligacy came yesterday
| when it paid a whopping premium to acquire Fast Search & Transfer for $1.2
| billion.    


Microsoft's Market Cap Falls $24B in 17 Days

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft is on the list. Today, the stock closed at $25.01 a share, down
| $2.39, or 8.72 percent.


Microsoft calls on Congress to reconsider bailout

,----[ Quote ]
| Following the massive Wall Street sell-off, Microsoft on Monday called on
| Congress to revisit its bailout decision, saying government action
| is "vitally important."


Ballmer: Congress must 'stabilize' financial crisis


Ballmer says Microsoft not immune from global crisis


Microsoft loses 90 Billion Dollars


Ex-Microsoft boss sentenced


Former Microsoft Manager Gets 2 Years In Jail


SEC bans short-selling of 799 financial stocks

,----[ Quote ]
| Short selling involves borrowing a company's shares, selling them, and
| pocketing the difference when the stock falls. It is a legitimate method of
| trading -- it can make markets more efficient and bring in more capital --
| but the government argues that it has widened the scope of the recent
| financial crisis and contributed to the collapsing values of investment and
| commercial bank stocks in particular.


SEC Foresees Rise in Fraud Cases

,----[ Quote ]
| Laying out his priorities, the new enforcement chief for the Securities and
| Exchange Commission in San Francisco said Thursday he expects an upswing in
| fraud cases against public companies.



Microsoft's Accounting Under Scrutiny

,----[ Quote ]
| The company has still not made enough information public to provide analysts
| with detailed information on the profitability of its MSN Internet business,
| Mr. Galvin said, adding, ''There's still room for them to obfuscate.''


Microsoft - Undeserving of Libertarian Praise

,----[ Quote ]
| One strategy that Microsoft has employed in the past is paying for the
| silence of people and companies. Charles Pancerzewski, formerly Microsoft's
| chief auditor, became aware of Microsoft's practice of carrying earnings from
| one accounting period into another, known as "managing earnings". This
| practice smoothes reported revenue streams, increases share value, and
| misleads employees and shareholders. In addition to being unethical, it's
| also illegal under U.S. Securities Law and violates Generally Accepted
| Accounting Practices (Fink). Mr. Pancerzewski claims he was forced to retire,
| for raising the issue of deferred earnings with Microsoft executives, thereby
| making plausible deniability more difficult for said executives. He has since
| sued Microsoft, who responded by settling out of court, but also sealing the
| records to prevent public disclosure (Fink).


Microsoft Agrees To Refrain From Accounting Violations in SEC Settlement

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has agreed to refrain from accounting violations to settle federal
| regulators' allegations that it misrepresented its financial performance, the
| government announced Monday.
| Under a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the software
| giant neither admitted to nor denied wrongdoing. No fine was imposed.
| The SEC alleged that Microsoft's accounting practices from July 1994 through
| June 1998 caused its income to be substantially misstated.


"Microsoft Tax," MSN Enters the Black Hole, New Names for NT

,----[ Quote ]
| The lawsuit, filed last year by Mukilteo City Councilman Charles
| Pancerzewski, alleges that he was forced to resign as Microsoft's general
| auditor in January 1996 after working for the company's internal auditing
| department for more than four years. The suit claims that a "significantly
| younger man" with little auditing experience was picked to replace
| Pancerzewski, who was finally forced out because he discovered Microsoft
| might have been violating government regulations. Once Pancerzewski left the
| company he was replaced by the younger man, who his attorneys believe
| was "less prone to raise issues of possible legal improprieties which could
| threaten or embarrass Microsoft or its management.


SEC Investigating Microsoft Practices -- Earnings Manipulated, Former Employee

,----[  Quote]
| "The CFO to whom Charlie was reporting his concerns about illegality was the
| biggest advocate for the very illegality that was going on," Vial argued in
| court a year ago.



,----[ Quote ]
| THE ALLEGATIONS WERE shocking: For years, Microsoft has systematically
| distorted its profit figures in an effort to consistently beat Wall Street
| expectations and keep its stock price steadily rising. The false reports
| would violate SEC regulations, and amount to outright fraud.
| More shocking was the source of the allegations: Microsoft's chief of
| internal audits, Charlie Pancerzewski, who reported directly to the company's
| chief financial officer.
| Most shocking of all was what happened to Pancerzewski when he reported the
| suspicious bookkeeping to his supervisors, Microsoft CFO Mike Brown and chief
| operating officer Bob Herbold, in the spring of 1995. Soon afterward,
| Pancerzewski—who for nearly five years had received stellar performance
| evaluations—received his first-ever unsatisfactory one, and was eventually
| forced to resign.
| Two months ago, Microsoft quietly settled a lawsuit containing these
| allegations, filed in 1997 by Pancerzewski under the Whistleblowers
| Protection Act. The auditor claimed he was wrongfully terminated after
| telling his supervisors that Microsoft might be breaking securities and tax
| laws. The lawsuit made its tortuous way through several rounds of pretrial
| motions until last fall, when US District Judge Carolyn Dimmick denied
| Microsoft's final plea for summary judgment, finding credible evidence that
| Microsoft may have violated SEC rules, as Pancerzewski alleged. Shortly
| thereafter, Microsoft and Pancerzewski settled out of court. Terms of the
| agreement were sealed, but one source who claims familiarity with the case
| says that Microsoft paid Pancerzewski $4 million.

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