Feeds

Commission beats Microsoft with €280m stick

Penalty dished out before appeal judgement

The essential guide to IT transformation

The EU Commission has fined Microsoft €280.5m for anti-competitive business practices.

Microsoft failed to comply with a 2004 ruling ordering it to share server APIs and offer Windows without Media Player bundled along with it.

European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "I regret that, more than two years after the decision and despite an order from the president of the Court of First Instance that the Microsoft appeal to the Court does not suspend Microsoft's obligation to comply, Microsoft has still not put an end to its illegal conduct."

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said: "We have great respect for the commission and this process, but we do not believe any fine, let alone a fine of this magnitude, is appropriate given the lack of clarity in the commission's original decision and our good-faith efforts over the past two years.

"It is hard to understand why the commission is imposing this enormous fine when the process is finally working well and the agreed-upon finish line is just days away. The fine announced today is larger than the fines the commission has imposed for even the most severe competition law infringements, such as price-fixing cartels."

If Microsoft continues to refuse to supply "complete and accurate" information to other developers by 31 July, the commission said it would start fining it an additional €3m a day.

A statement said: "Microsoft's obligations in this regard are clearly outlined in that decision, both in terms of the result to be achieved, and in terms of what Microsoft must do to achieve that result. These obligations were specific and have not changed: it is for Microsoft to produce usable documentation."

See the commission statement here.

Microsoft has repeatedly insisted it has fully complied with the 2004 ruling. The Luxembourg court which heard its appeal against Brussels in April has yet to rule.®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.