The European Union’s Battle Against Microsoft

The European Union has imposed yet another multi-million euro fine against software giant Microsoft Corp. for failing to provide technical information to allow its products to operate with those manufactured by the competition. The anti-trust saga dates to the late 1990s when a competitor filed a complaint at the European Commission accusing Microsoft of engaging in anticompetitive practices. Since then, the Commission has been requesting from the company technical information to allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers. So far, the Commission claims, the information provided is insufficient and has threatened to increase fines to 5% of the company’s average daily turnover. In 2004, the Commission had already imposed on Microsoft the largest fine in its history for anticompetitive practices. Microsoft, meanwhile, has been reportedly delaying the matter to avoid competitors from obtaining information for free which has cost the company millions to acquire. However, it may soon have to find a way to solve a challenge, which could become too costly to assume. At this point it says it will appeal the European Union’s latest decision.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What were the initial decisions of the Commission and the Court?
What happened next? Did Microsoft provide the information?

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