Feeds

EC jacks up Microsoft fine by €899m

First company ever fined for failure to comply

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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.
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 and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.