Microsoft Meets EU Deadline

European Union regulators are now perusing Microsoft’s proposal to comply with last year’s antitrust rulings. The company submitted its proposal close to Tuesday’s midnight deadline, a European Commission spokesman said.

The commission will take several weeks to determine if Redmond has
complied with the March 2004 ruling involving its Windows platform and
plans to receive feedback from the company’s rivals before deciding whether
to impose additional fines, according to spokesman Jonathan Todd.

“Contact continued between the European Commission and Microsoft until
late last night, and the commission will now carefully analyze what’s on the
table,” he said.

If Redmond’s proposals fall short of full compliance, the company will
face a daily fine of up to 5 percent of its daily turnover worldwide. It is
estimated that number would equal approximately $5 million a day.

A Microsoft spokesman would only say the company had submitted its
proposal prior to the midnight deadline and that they “await their
response.”

The commission, which is part of the 25-nation European Union, fined
Microsoft a record $613 million after it found the company controlled a
“virtual monopoly” with its Windows operating system, breaking European
antitrust law governing competition.

Microsoft was ordered to make its Windows operating system available
without the Windows Media Player, so that computer makers can buy
alternative software to play video and audio from competitors. The software
giant must also share information with rival makers of servers used to run
printers and retrieve files, an issue known as interoperability, according
to the ruling.

Last month, the commission gave Microsoft the June 1 deadline to deliver satisfactory proposals to settle the case or else face hefty sanctions.

The commission says it expects to have a ruling on compliance by July 20,
which is when the last meeting of the European Commission before its summer recess will take place.

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