EU antitrust lawsuit threatens to fine Microsoft

Microsoft faces fines of up to $2.3 million a day if it fails to quickly comply with EU antitrust orders to make it easier for rival companies' products to work with Windows.
Written by ZDNet UK, Contributor

More trouble for Microsoft in Europe. Antitrust enforcers find the company is moving too slowly to produce usable documentation for competing server vendors to be able to work with Windows. MS will face fines of up to $2.3 million a day, the Washington Post  reports.

"I have given Microsoft every opportunity to comply with its obligations,'' EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement. "However, I have been left with no alternative other than to proceed via the formal route to ensure Microsoft's compliance."

The EU Competition commission which oversees the compliance, ruled in March 2004 that Microsoft was unfairly restricting those rival systems, and ordered Microsoft to produce additional technical documentation.

In reponse Microsoft's General Counsel said, "We continue working quickly to meet the commission's new and changing demands. Yet every time we make a change, we find that the commission moves the goal post and demands another change.''

Microsoft has five weeks to contest the order, which it is expected to do. The company also faces legal woes in South Korea, where government antitrust enforcers have ordered that it unbundle its instant-messaging program from Windows.


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