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EC raps MS over interoperability - again

Not keeping its promises

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The European Commission (EC) has accused Microsoft of not properly complying with the sanctions laid out as part of its anti-trust ruling in 2004, particularly on the question of interoperability.

It says the software giant is not making it easy enough for companies who want to take a licence for Microsoft's data protocols to access the necessary documentation; that the licences are too extensive, covering unwanted items; that the terms and conditions of the license mean some open source developers can't take advantage of the protocols; and finally that the royalties demanded are too high.

An EC spokesman told the BBC: "On the basis of market test results, we have serious doubts that Microsoft is complying with the interoperability remedy...It would appear that the level of royalties applied would be unjustified."

Microsoft issued a statement saying that the company remains "fully committed to complying with the Commission’s decision".

"The issues are complex and nuanced. As the Commission itself has noted, in large part, each of them revolve around striking the appropriate balance between the need to preserve the legitimate private interests of Microsoft with the public interests of the Commission," the statement went on.

The company added that it was grateful to receive the results of the Commission's market testing, so that it could "respond promptly and in an appropriate way" to work through the issues raised. ®

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