Microsoft to EU: We’re Not Done Yet

The European Commission is reportedly about to slap daily fines of up to $2.51 million on Microsoft.

According to the Financial Times, European Commission (EC) regulators have drafted a ruling that is expected to say Microsoft is guilty of failing to fully provide technical information to rivals about the Windows operating system.
The information about opening up APIs for its operating system was part of penalties European regulators imposed on Microsoft as part of its 2004 antitrust ruling that said Microsoft abused its monopoly in European markets.

Since then, the two sides have sparred over whether Microsoft is in compliance with those rulings and penalties. EC spokesperson Jonathan Todd told a ruling “is due to be adopted before the end of July” on those fines.

Microsoft, for its part, urged the EU to hold off.

“Microsoft has committed massive resources to the technical documentation program” and is working hard to meet the deadlines for the last two installments set for June 30 and July 18, according to a statement the company released today.

“Given that the technical engagement is producing results and that Microsoft has complied fully with every instruction given by the Commission and the Trustee, any fine would be unjustified and unnecessary.”

In April, Microsoft and EC regulators met for two days of hearings to decide whether the software maker should be fined $2.4 million daily for not complying with a requirement it supply rivals technical documentation.

In the courtroom, Microsoft lawyer Ian Forrester told judges of the EU’s Court of First Instance that requiring the company share technical data with rivals would handicap Microsoft for perpetuity, according to procedure attendees.

As reported at the time, although the EC’s Todd called fines not an ideal outcome for the hearings, Microsoft needed to comply with the original ruling.

“Where there is a will, there is a way,” Todd said at the time.

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