EU Denies Microsoft Extension

    February 10, 2006

The European Commission has refused Microsoft an extension on fulfilling its antitrust ruling, one Microsoft has said it needs because of EC mismanagement.

An independent European Commission hearing officer also turned down the U.S. software giant’s request for access to correspondence involving technical experts, which it wanted for its defense.

“We have confirmed the deadline of February 15 on the basis that nearly eight weeks should be sufficient for Microsoft to reply to a comparatively short statement of objections,” Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd told Reuters.

Microsoft could wind up being fined $2.4 million a day, retroactive to December, if the 2/14 deadline passes. That’s over one hundred million dollars, a serious chunk of change, all over a case which has lost relevance over the decade we’ve had to hear about it, from a government body that has no interest in Microsoft’s need to be as competitive as the smaller companies it is trying to protect.

Lets try to remember that, in many ways because of the actions of U.S. regulators, smaller companies are far more competitive and innovative than Microsoft. Sure, you can’t really challenge Microsoft on some of its products (at least not yet), but it doesn’t exactly squeeze people out of markets by leveraging Windows. Since they’re already handcuffed, who is the EC protecting?

(via MS Watch)

Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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