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Microsoft appeals $1.4B fine levied by EC

Posted: 13 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microsoft? antitrust ruling? appeal filing? competition regulations?

Microsoft Corp. last week lodged an appeal at a European court against the record fine of $1.4 billion imposed on it by the European Commission (EC) for defying a 2004 landmark antitrust ruling, according to an AFP report.

A spokesperson from the company announced the May 9 filing of the appeal, calling the move a "constructive effort to seek clarity from the court." An EC spokesman, meanwhile, voiced confidence that the grounds for the fine were sound.

EU competition regulators imposed the record fine in February after finding that Microsoft had defied a 2004 ruling by the EC.

After a five-year investigation, the commission had then ruled that Microsoft abused its share of the market for OS running PCs, thanks to its ubiquitous Windows program.

Microsoft fought the decision tooth-and-nail until last September when an EU court threw out the company's appeal against the ruling, significantly strengthening the commission's hand in the long-running standoff.

New investigation
Microsoft is also facing a new, separate EU challenge.

Since its court victory last year, the EC has launched a new investigation targeting the interoperability of a broad range of software, including the popular Microsoft Office package, with rival products.

In February, Microsoft said it was making "broad-reaching changes" to its technology and business practices to enhance the ease with which its software interacts with partners, customers and competitors.

However, the commission gave the move only a lukewarm response, saying it had seen similar promises from Microsoft in the past.

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