Microsoft Slapped with Hefty Fine
The European Commission had imposed a record fine of Eruos 899 million (U.S.$ 1.35 billion) on Micorsoft Coporation for using high prices to discourage software competition.
The Anti-trust case arose out of the action of Micorsoft in stopping to provide information to rival makers of 'Work Group Servers' which operate printers and sign-ons for small groups in enabling them to hook up to Windows Office Machines..This resulted in shrinking of their markets.
Despie being fined nearly 497 milion Euros in 2004, the Company had continued to flout the 2004 order of the European Competition Commission by still giving incomplete information and charging high royalties.
The current investigations refer to these issues but for different products. In 2004, Microsoft had tied its Windows Media Player to Windows. In its complaint, 'Opera' a maker of a Web-browser had submitted that Microsoft had done the same thing with Internet explorer. The new inter-operabability question relates to Microsoft Office and the difficulty for documents for rival systems to operate with Word and other Office products.
According to Ms.Neelie Krores, the E.U.competition Commissioner, in the 50 years of its competition policy, Microsoft was the first company to be fined for failure to comply with an anti-trust decision. Citing the reasons for the hefty fine, she further added,' we don't want talk and promises;we want compliances'.
Responding to the decision of the Commission, a spokesman for the Company said that the fines concern past issues and the Company was looking into future..He further added that as we demonstrated last week with our new inter-operapability principles and specific actions to increase the opennness of our products, we are focussing on steps that will improve things for the future.
Tags: EU , Microsoft
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