Microsoft Appealing Record Fine From The EU

    May 12, 2008

Microsoft said it is appealing a record $1.39 billion (899 million euro) fine from the European Commission for using high prices to reduce software competition.

"Microsoft today filed to the (EU) Court of First Instance an application to annul the European Commission decision of February 27,"the company said in statement. "We are filing this appeal in a constructive effort to seek clarity from the court."

The European Union’s executive Commission said in response that it believed the fine was "legally sound." The Commission said it was fining Microsoft because it had ignored an order from Brussels to turn over information to competitors on reasonable terms.

Microsoft has been fined a total of 1.68 billion euros by the EU for mishandling its 95 percent control of PC operating systems through its Windows operating system. The $1.3 billion fine is the largest ever given to a company by the EU executive.

The Commission originally fined Microsoft 497 million euros in March 2004 for not sharing interoperability information for "work group server" software and for purposely hurting competitors by tying its Windows Media Player to its Windows system.

Microsoft lost its appeal against that penalty and was later fined 280 million euros by the Commission for non-compliance.

 In February of this year Microsoft said it was committed to supporting standards of interoperability.