Microsoft’s EU Deadline Approaching

    May 23, 2005
    Chris Crum

Microsoft will face fines of up to $5 million a day if it fails to meet the deadline set by the European Commission to change its business practices in Europe. The company has until the end of May.

Microsoft lost an antitrust dispute in 2004, and now the time is approaching for the company to meet the EU’s guidelines. The company is expected to provide details about how it will do so.

“We made a deal that before the end of the month we would reach an agreement (on remedies). We are waiting for the Microsoft people to do their homework,” said European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. BBC News reports about the company’s dispute with the EU:

In addition to a 497m euro ($640m; 343m) fine in March 2004, Brussels ordered Microsoft to open up its core software systems to rivals.

This was to enable other software manufacturers to make programs that worked more seamlessly with Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Microsoft was also ordered to provide a version of Windows without its own Windows Media Player.

“Microsoft is concerned about losing control of its intellectual property, and the fact is some of the licensing terms used by open-source software developers raise a legitimate concern,” said Neil Macehiter of Macehiter Ward-Dutton, a firm that advises companies on their IT strategies . “A compromise is going to be difficult.”

Microsoft is also supposed to appoint an independent trustee to monitor its compliance. The European Commission is still waiting for the company to do so.

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.