Microsoft in violation of EU anti-trust laws

<em>12 March 2003</em> The European Commission has concluded that Microsoft has violated EU anti-trust laws, according to reports from the Reuters news service. These reports have surfaced months before the case draws to a close.

Moreover, according to Reuter's sources, the US software giant's proposed remedies to the EU's anti-trust concerns will need to be refined if they are to withstand court scrutiny. These remedies would go beyond those agreed by the US Justice Department in November 2002, which found Microsoft guilty of abusing its Windows monopoly.

The EU authorities have proposed two requirements, according to Reuters. First, that Microsoft shares more proprietary information with its rivals; and second, that it 'unbundles' its Media Player software from the Windows operating system.

In the US, a number of State attorneys complained that the Justice Department's settlement with Microsoft were not tough enough on the software giant's anti-competitive practices.

The EU proposals have not yet reached Competition Commissioner Mario Monti, and could undergo a review before he receives them, reports Reuters. Unless the EU can reach an agreement with Microsoft, the decision on the remedies Microsoft must make will lie with the European Commission, on Monti's recommendation.

assets bin source summary_source tmp In a separate development, Microsoft plans to sell its 22.89 million shares in ailing Canadian software company Corel. A division of San Francisco-based venture capital firm Vector Capital has agreed to buy the shares at a value of 56 cents per share, making the deal worth $12.88 million.

This figure pales in comparison to the $135 million Microsoft paid in October 2000 to acquire its 24.6% share in Corel. Corel is best known for its WordPerfect office applications and graphics software.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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