EU will decide Microsoft fine within weeks

The European Commission will decide whether to fine Microsoft up to 5 percent of its daily global turnover within several weeks.

The European Commission, the antitrust regulator of the European Union, will decide whether to fine Microsoft up to 5 percent of its daily global turnover in "several weeks" starting from June 1, it said on Monday.

In March 2004, the Commission imposed a series of measures on the company for abuse of the dominant market position of its Windows PC operating software. The Commission has given Microsoft until midnight on May 31 to say how it intends to comply with those measures, according to Jonathan Todd, spokesman for E.U. Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

The Commission will then take "several weeks to analyze what Microsoft has come up with," Todd said. "We will have to assess carefully if it is sufficient to ensure compliance."

The Commission will "insist on compliance with every part of its original ruling," he added.

In 2004, the Commission ordered Microsoft to offer a version of Windows without its own-brand Windows Media Player (WMP) installed, and to offer licensing terms for the communications protocols used by its workgroup server software. It also hit the company with a fine of Euro 497 million, (US$624 million) the largest ever imposed in the E.U.'s history of antitrust rulings.

In order to comply with the Commission's ruling, Microsoft has proposed to sell a version of Windows without WMP called "Windows XP N."

The question of licensing terms for the communications protocols remains one of the major sticking points between the two sides. The company is insisting that developers who take out a licence pay a fee for every product they sell using Microsoft's protocols. But developers argue this is impossible to predict in advance and are insisting on a flat rate, one-off fee.

"We are working hard with the Commission towards an agreement on compliance with the decision," said Microsoft spokesman Tom Brookes.

If Microsoft does not offer a satisfactory solution on the range of compliance issues, the Commission can launch a process to impose a fine worth 5 percent of the company's daily global turnover, or roughly US$5 million. The decision would have to be notified to the company, which would have a certain period to respond.

Kroes would also have to consult with the 25 member states of the European Union and seek approval from all 25 members of the Commission. This process is expected to take weeks.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Simon Taylor

IDG News Service
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?