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Microsoft gets set to file EU appeal

The software powerhouse next week plans to make its formal appeal of a European antitrust ruling that includes a massive fine and constraints on Microsoft's business practices.

Microsoft plans to file next week its formal appeal of a European Union ruling that the software giant violated antitrust law and should be fined and made to curtail its business practices.

As soon as the ruling was announced in March, Microsoft had vowed to appeal it. The EU fined the company a record 497 million euros ($607 million) and also ordered it to offer a version of Windows without a bundled media player. The EU also ordered the company to disclose more technical information to rivals.

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What's new:
Microsoft is set to file a formal appeal of a European antitrust ruling that ordered the software maker to pay a massive fine and change its business practices.

Bottom line:
The company will argue that the ruling would harm its ability to innovate. Regulators say that the decision can withstand the legal challenge.

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The EU based its ruling on what it called the longstanding nature of Microsoft's anticompetitive practices, such as failing to give rivals information that they needed to compete fairly in the market for server software and offering Windows on the condition that it come bundled with Windows Media Player.

"We intend to file our appeal sometime next week," Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said Wednesday.

Microsoft's appeal will be to the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg. The company has contended that the decision would harm its ability to innovate.

"We look forward to filing our appeal and believe we have a very strong case to present to the court," Desler said.

European regulators have said they believe that the ruling will hold up to any legal challenge.

"Of course, I'm confident we have produced a decision that will stand before any appeal," European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti said at a March press conference.

Microsoft is also expected to ask the Court of First Instance to delay any imposition of the remedies, but that request is not expected to be filed until later in June.