EC suspends Microsoft sanctions

Pending appeal

The European Commission has suspended sanctions against Microsoft. The software giant should have started offering a version of Windows without its media player from today. The EC ruled in March that Microsoft had abused its monopoly position and levied a fine of €497m and ordered the company to offer a media player-free version of Windows.

Microsoft is appealing that decision and on Friday, June 25 asked the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg to suspend punishment until that appeal is heard. The appeal was filed earlier this month. The EC's move means that it is business as usual for Microsoft until the final legal decision. This could take up to three years. Filings are confidential and no details were released.

But the EC remains convinced its case is right: "The Commission believes that the remedies are reasonable, balanced and necessary to restore competition in the marketplace and that there is a strong public interest in favor of implementing them without waiting for the judgment on the substance of the case," the EC said in a statement. ®

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