Microsoft Appeals $357M EC Fine

Microsoft  has filed an appeal of the $357 million
fine levied by
the European Commission this summer, the company said.

The Commission fined Microsoft in July for failing to allow its rivals to
interoperate with Windows and refusing to unbundle its media player from the
Windows operating system.

“The deadline for filing the appeal was October 2 and the deadline has been
met,” Microsoft spokesperson Anne-Sophie Debrancion told
internetnews.com.

The European Court of First Instance confirmed that it received the appeal
via fax yesterday afternoon, mere hours before the deadline expired.

It is still waiting for the original, after which a copy will be sent to the
defendant, which in this case is the European Commission.

This is just the first step in a highly-scripted legal minuet that will play
out over the next nine months.

The Commission will be given a deadline for filing a response, after which
Microsoft will be allowed to reply and the Commission a chance to rejoin yet
again.

Interested third parties will also be given a chance to intervene before the
Court hears oral arguments.

Barring an out-of-court settlement, a final verdict may not be known until
July 2007, and a further appeal would still be possible.

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