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EU beaks to rule on Microsoft's $1.1bn fine appeal in June

Redmond challenged record antitrust punishment

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On 27 June, Microsoft will find out whether its appeal against a record antitrust penalty has been successful in the EU's General Court.

In February 2008, the European Commission added another €899m ($1.13bn) to the fine Microsoft was expected to pay for failing to comply with an original antitrust ruling in 2004.

The second fine covered the period from the 2004 decision to 22 October, 2007 and came on top of the original penalty of €497m, giving a total of €1.39bn or $1.75bn.

The decision found that Microsoft was charging competitors too much for interoperability information for its servers.

A the time, then competition commissioner "Steelie" Neelie Kroes was scathing:

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

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.

But the company has long contended the fine handed down to it citing technical problems with how Brussels' officials determined the €899m figure without first offering guidance to Microsoft on the matter. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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