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EU to decide on Microsoft fine in July

It'll take time to analyse the proposal

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European Union officials have said they will wait until the end of July to make a decision on whether or not to impose extra fines on Microsoft over the legal ruling that the company had abused its market dominance.

The deadline for the software maker to comply with the March 2004 ruling expires at midnight tonight. EU spokesman Jonathan Todd told Business Week that he was confident Microsoft would have its plan in on time. He added that it might take several weeks to properly analyse the company's proposal, raising the prospect of a pretty mountinous fine if the proposal is found wanting.

If the EU is not satisfied with the proposal, it can fine Microsoft up to five per cent of its daily global sales for each day that the company continues to breach the terms of the ruling. It would be an unprecedented move, and would be in addition to the €497m fine that was imposed in 2004.

"We're in regular contact with Microsoft and we have no reason to believe they will not make their final offer before midnight tonight," Todd told Business Week. "I can't say whether they're going to fall into line or not." ®

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