Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

European Regulators Set To Get Tough With Microsoft

LONDON — The European Commission is poised to find Microsoft guilty of violating antitrust rules and take action against the software giant for not complying with a 2004 ruling. Reports suggest Microsoft is likely to face fines of up to Euros 2 million a day for non-compliance.

According to online reports, the EU's top competition watchdogs backed a draft proposal Monday (July 3) to penalize the company. However, the Associated Press in Brussels suggested they had not agreed the exact penalties, which they are due to discuss at a meeting next week.

At the core of the conflict is the Commission's accusation that Microsoft had not drawn up "complete and accurate" information on the Windows operating system, which a ruling by the EC required Microsoft to share with rival software developers. The company has been arguing since December 2004 that it had done everything the ruling demanded, but both the software group's rivals, and the Commission dispute this.

Under the rules, the commission had to consult regulators twice -- once on the principle of the ruling and on the amount -- before it announces the fine. Regulators agreed on the principle Monday.

The Commission declined to comment on Monday's meeting. Microsoft said it was working to meet deadlines to fix problems with the technical information it is compiling so that rivals can better work with its operating system.

  • 1