December 22, 2005

EU threatens Microsoft with daily fines

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission threatened
software giant Microsoft with daily fines on Thursday for
failing to comply with antitrust sanctions a year after a top
European Union court rejected its appeal.

The EU executive said it may fine Microsoft up to 2 million
euros ($2.37 million) a day unless it complies with an order to
provide interface documentation to allow rivals' group servers
to work with the company's ubiquitous Windows operating system.

Microsoft has five weeks to reply to the Commission's
statement of objections and the right to an oral hearing. The
order was part of a landmark March 2004 ruling that the company
had abused its global market dominance to squelch rivals.

"I have given Microsoft every opportunity to comply with
its obligations. However, I have been left with no alternative
other than to proceed via the formal route to ensure
Microsoft's compliance," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie
Kroes said in a statement.