Microsoft not meeting EU antitrust requirements

21 March 2005 The European Commission (EC) has said that Microsoft is not doing enough to meet the sanctions it imposed on the company for breaking European anti-trust law.

The software company was fined €497 million in 2004 for using its dominance in the desktop software market to the disadvantage of competitors in other sectors. The EC ordered the company to take measures to increase the interoperability of its packages with those of rival software producers.

The EC has expressed its dissatisfaction with the way in which Microsoft has adhered to one particular requirement – allowing other developers to access the code for its server software.

After the trial, Microsoft put developer licences for its server packages up for sale. Although the company had been permitted to charge for these licenses, the European Commission has said that it considers the license fees too expensive.

“The level of royalties [Microsoft would receive from the licences] would be unjustified,” said EC spokesperson Jonathan Todd.

Should the EC’s demand not be satisfactorily met by Microsoft, the company could face fines of up to five percent of its daily global sales, roughly $5 million a day.

“The Commission remains patient, but there are limits to the patience we are prepared to show,” said Todd. “The ball is now in Microsoft’s court and I am sure they will come back to us shortly on these issues.”

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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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