Antitrust angst for Microsoft

special coverage EU slaps Microsoft with $357 million fine in their ongoing antitrust battle.

5 min read

Antitrust angst for Microsoft

July 12, 2006, 10:23 AM PT

The deadline arrives in the EU's ongoing battle with the software maker over whether it has complied with an antitrust order. The verdict is a new fine of hundreds of millions of dollars and the threat of even more fines.

'No alternative' to Microsoft fine

newsmaker Wielding a $357 million charge, antitrust chief Neelie Kroes expects full compliance. And she's keeping an eye on Vista.

July 12, 2006

EU knocks Microsoft with $357 million fine

Figure could rise if the software giant doesn't comply by July 31 with Europe's antitrust dictates.

July 12, 2006

Trade groups pick sides in EU-Microsoft battle

Software organizations take opposing views on how the multimillion-dollar antitrust fine imposed on Microsoft will affect the industry.

July 12, 2006

Kroes: 'Failure to comply'

video Neelie Kroes, Europe's competition commissioner, says "I don't buy Microsoft's line" that the EU's demands were unclear. (Watch the entire Brussels press conference.)

July 12, 2006

="6092678">Microsoft awaits word on EU fine

European antitrust regulators expected to announce historic fine as high as $2.55 million a day, backdated to Dec. 15.

July 11, 2006

EU may raise cap for Microsoft daily fines

Europe will raise future fines on Microsoft to $3.82 million a day if it keeps defying antitrust ruling, source says.

July 10, 2006

Previous coverage

="6091994">Tough stance prompts movement by Microsoft

European Commission's hard-line approach toward the software giant appears to be bearing fruit.

July 9, 2006

="6063751">Judge blocks Microsoft 'end-run' in EU antitrust case

U.S. judge nixes request to subpoena IBM, calling it a "blatant end-run around 'foreign proof-gathering restrictions.'"

April 21, 2006

News.com Poll

The EU has hit Redmond with a multimillion-dollar fine--again. What effect will that have in the antitrust saga?

None. It didn't work the first time, and the company's got money to burn.
A little. It'll keep some programmers busy making tweaks to code that won't make much difference.
Plenty. Microsoft will finally have to deliver the goods, and soon.

View results

EU voices concerns over Microsoft's Vista

European antitrust regulators cite possible bundling of Internet search, PDF-like formatting in the next OS.

March 29, 2006

Rivals hit Microsoft with new EU complaint

ECIS accuses the software giant of acting unfairly, but Microsoft says the group is acting as a front for old foe IBM.

February 22, 2006

Microsoft attacks EU over antitrust process

European Commission rejects claims by the software giant that it has disregarded evidence, denied due process.

February 15, 2006

Keeping watch over Microsoft

Newsmaker Professor and author Neil Barrett has a new role: Letting the EC know whether the software maker is playing by the antitrust rules.

October 6, 2005

Microsoft: No easy mark

Don't let the company's newfound willingness to settle its many legal challenges make you think it'll be easy pickings for any competitor that can hire a couple of lawyers.

April 15, 2004

Europe plays hardball with Microsoft

Special coverage In a decision that could affect consumers, competitors and PC makers, the European Commission requires Microsoft to unbundle Media Player from Windows and pay a $613 million fine.

March 24, 2004

Microsoft vs. the EU

Microsoft's antitrust woes span several continents, in countries from South Korea to the United Kingdom, and have cost the software giant hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and settlement fees over the past several years.

The European Commission has had the greatest effect on prompting the software titan to change some of its business practices. Following the Commission's landmark 2004 order, Microsoft was required to share protocol information with rivals in order to aid interoperability with Windows PCs and servers, unbundle its Media Player from its operating system, and pay a fine of 497 million euros, or $613 million at the time.

The U.S. Department of Justice, as a result of actions taken by the Commission and Microsoft, essentially "reset" portions of its own 2002 Microsoft antitrust settlement to bring it more on par with the Commission's case regarding timely submission of protocol information to rivals. In May, the end of the Justice Department's monitoring period for Microsoft was extended from 2007 to 2009.

Following the Commission's 2004 order, European antitrust regulators have viewed Microsoft as dragging its feet to comply and issued a Dec. 15 deadline to come into compliance, or potentially face a daily fine of up to 2 million euros. Microsoft contended it had little guidance from the Commission on what it needed to provide and was not given enough time to meet those requirements. Undeterred, the regulators stood by their threat and on Wednesday issued a new 280.5 million euro ($357 million) fine for noncompliance.

--Dawn Kawamoto

Related video
EU Microsoft

EU fines Microsoft again

Neelie Kroes, Europe's competition commissioner, announces the ruling against Microsoft.

EU Microsoft

The announcement in full

Watch the entire Brussels press conference.

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