Microsoft loses appeal against record fine
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 27 Jun 2012 at 09:43
The European Commission has slightly lowered an antitrust fine against Microsoft, after "essentially" refusing its appeal.
In 2004, the EU's regulator fined Microsoft a record - at the time - €497m for anticompetitive practices, ordering it to release a version of Windows without Media Player and to share necessary code to allow competitors products to work with its server and desktop software.
In 2006, Microsoft was fined €280.5m for failing to fully comply, and in 2008 fined another €899m for the same reason - a decision Microsoft appealed.
"In its judgement of today, the court essentially upholds the Commission's decision and rejects all the arguments put forward by Microsoft in support of annulment," the EC statement said.
However, the EC admitted it had given Microsoft permission to restrict distribution of open source rivals' products while it waited for a court judgement in the issue in 2007. Because of that, the ruling reduced one periodic payment of the fine from €899m to €860m.
Microsoft can appeal the ruling.
“Although the General Court slightly reduced the fine, we are disappointed with the Court’s ruling," Microsoft said. "The fine, which was paid several years ago, related to the price Microsoft had proposed for one of several forms of licenses for technology Microsoft was required to make available by the Commission’s 2004 Decision. In 2009 Microsoft entered into a broad understanding with the Commission that resolved its competition law concerns.”
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