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Microsoft and EC agree to disagree

Ballmer told to get in line quick

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The European Commission has told Microsoft to stop dragging its feet over complying with last year's anti-trust judgement.

The Commission can fine Microsoft as much as five per cent of its daily turnover for every day it is not compliant with the judgement.

In March last year the EC found Microsoft guilty of abusing its monopoly position and ordered it to pay a €497m fine, offer a version of Windows without Media Player and open up its software APIs to rival firms.

Steve Ballmer met the new Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes on Tuesday but he was told his company has not done enough to satisfy the EC.

An EC spokesman told the BBC: "Ms Kroes said that the Commission expects the decision adopted in March 2004 to be complied with urgently and in full, and she added that unless this was the case that the Commission would be obliged to take formal steps to ensure compliance."

The Competition Commission is still not convinced that Microsoft's MediaPlayer-free version of its software is "technically up to standard" or that Microsoft has done enough to open up its server software to rival companies.

A Microsoft spokesperson told the Reg: "This meeting was part of the ongoing, open and constructive dialogue between the company and the European Commission. "®

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