Europe Wants U.S. Based Microsoft To Pay

    September 17, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Microsoft has lost its appeal of a $690 million fine as set down by the European Commission for antitrust allegations against the software giant.

For Microsoft, the taste of defeat must be as bitter as some of Belgium’s famed bittersweet chocolates. The Court of First Instance denied Microsoft’s appeal of a ruling that it acted in a monopolistic fashion in the European market.

The BBC reported Microsoft still has one more avenue to take with its appeals. They have two months to take their case to the European Court of Justice and try and overturn the verdict.

Microsoft did earn a small victory, when the court decided an independent trustee did not need to be appointed to monitor the company’s behavior. In the US, a federal court has been watching Microsoft since its landmark antitrust case, US vs Microsoft.

"We appreciate the court’s judgment on the trustee issue and the monitoring mechanism, an issue where the court agreed with us, and yet I would be the first to acknowledge that I don’t think anyone would say that is the most important part of this case or this decision," Microsoft general counsel, senior VP Brad Smith, said in a statement.

European authorities under the auspices of competition commissioner Neelie Kroes have pursued Microsoft and complained of its bundling of Windows Media Player with the XP operating system, among other issues.

Kroes said in the BBC report that the recent decision against Microsoft was a "bittersweet" victory. In a separate statement, Kroes said of the competition commission’s original imposition of the penalty against Microsoft, "That decision set an important precedent in terms of the obligations of dominant companies to allow competition, in particular in high tech industries. The Court ruling shows that the Commission was right to take its decision."