Feeds

EC jacks up Microsoft fine by €899m

First company ever fined for failure to comply

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The European Commission has added another €899m ($1.35bn) to the fine Microsoft must pay for failing to comply with the original anti-trust ruling in 2004.

The fine covers the period from the 2004 decision to 22 October, 2007. The decision found that Microsoft was charging competitors too much for interoperability information for its servers.

Competition Commissioner "Steelie" Neelie Kroes was scathing in a statement: "Microsoft was the first company in 50 years of EU competition policy that the commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an anti-trust decision... I hope that today's decision closes a dark chapter in Microsoft's record of non-compliance."

It is the largest fine the EC has ever imposed on a single company.

The fine comes on top the original penalty of €497m, giving a total of €1.35bn or $2.038bn.

Microsoft reduced its royalty claims for licensees from 3.87 per cent to 0.7 per cent in May 2007 following European Commission objections. This was finally reduced to 0.4 per cent in October 2007.

Microsoft sent us the following statement: "We are reviewing the commission's action. The commission announced in October 2007 that Microsoft was in full compliance with the 2004 decision, so these fines are about past issues that have been resolved. As we demonstrated last week with our new interoperability principles and specific actions to increase the openness of our products, we are focusing on steps that will improve things for the future."

Last week, Microsoft announced broader and freer access to its APIs which many observers saw as a way to head off future competition claims as well as potentially reassuring regulators about the market impact of its takeover of Yahoo!.

The timing could hardly be worse for Microsoft which is today launching Windows Server 2008.

The whole EC statement is available here. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.