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Microsoft appeals EU antitrust fine

Calling it "excessive," Microsoft criticized in an appeals hearing today the $1.3 billion fine imposed three years ago by EU antitrust regulators.

Calling it "excessive," Microsoft criticized in an appeals hearing today the 899 million euro fine imposed three years ago by European Union antitrust regulators, according to Reuters.

The fine, equivalent to $1.35 billion in 2008 and $1.27 billion today, penalized Microsoft for failing to comply with sanctions in a case involving the information it provides to other companies to allow their products to work with Microsoft software. The fine specifically addresses the rates that Microsoft charges to license its interoperability protocols and patents to third parties.

In criticizing the fine, Microsoft's attorney argued that the EU should have been clearer about the rates it expected the company to charge. The appeals court generally takes about six months to a year before delivering a verdict, Reuters reported, while noting that the court typically is reluctant to overrule the decisions of the European Commission.

For more on this story, read Microsoft blasts EU antitrust fine in appeals hearing on CNET News.