Microsoft Fights Possible EU Fine

by admin March 30, 2006 at 10:12 am

Microsoft headed into two days of closed-door hearings with European regulators, facing $2.4 million in daily fines over what the EU feel is noncompliance with a 2004 antitrust ruling.

This is a case the software giant just can’t win, according to analysts.

In late 2005, European regulators warned Microsoft it could be fined for every day of noncompliance, retroactive to Dec. 15.

At the crux of the EU’s decision is whether Microsoft permitted rivals access to technical information needed for third-party applications to work with Windows.

Neil Barrett, a UK professor serving as an independent trustee in the case, has called Microsoft documentation unusable.

To refute that, Microsoft submitted statements from EMC, StarBak Communications, Tandberg Television and Network Appliance, referring to the Microsoft Communications Protocol Program documentation licensing as “useful and helpful,” according to a statement.

Microsoft contends it is willing to improve the documentation, but needs “clear, concise and consistent information from the commission” about what changes it wants made, according to a statement.

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