Microsoft Loses EU Antitrust Appeal, Fine Reduced To $1.07 Billion
The European Commission has upheld their decision from 2008, in which they fined Microsoft over their business practices. Europe's General Court, the second-highest, has denied the company's appeal of the fine which came to $1.35 billion at the time ($1.12 billion now). Microsoft originally received the fine when they were found violating existing antitrust sanctions from four years prior to that (2004) which called for them to provide information to make business easier for its rivals. The court had the following to say in a statement made Wednesday, "The General Court essentially upholds the Commission's decision imposing a periodic penalty payment on Microsoft for failing to allow its competitors access to interoperability information on reasonable terms." The fine however has been cut by 4.3% which translates to $1.07 Billion that Microsoft will have to pay. The battle may not be over however as Microsoft can still appeal to European Court of Justice, Europe's highest. Whether or not they will pursue that course is not known, but it is on the table. If anything this case has certainly highlighted Microsoft's less then stellar relations with the European Commission.
Big companies on the Commission's radar should take note of the court ruling, said Michael Reynolds, a partner at Allen & Overy. The law firm represented Sun Microsystems, whose original complaint triggered off the EU probe. "Dominant companies such as Google will take notice of this in the way they handle their case and how they come to a settlement," he said.
Posted by | Fri, Jun 29, 2012 - 02:37 PM