EU hits Microsoft with record fine

Microsoft has been slapped with a record 691.4m by the European Commission (EC) for anti-competitive behaviour. It is the first time in 50 years that the EU has fined a company for failure to comply with an antitrust decision.

Microsoft has been slapped with a record £691.4m by the European Commission (EC) for anti-competitive behaviour. It is the first time in 50 years that the EU has fined a company for failure to comply with an antitrust decision.

The EC say Microsoft defied 2004 sanctions imposed on it for antitrust violations. The landmark 2004 ruling said Microsoft had withheld needed necessary codes from rival makers of “work group” server software.

The software, which operates printers and sign-ons for small office groups, needed to work with PCs using Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The EC said Microsoft had not given vital codes to its rivals, meaning its share of this market flourished to the detriment of its competitors.

The EC ordered Microsoft to issue the information, which the US firm agreed to do, but imposed high royalties on grounds of innovation. It said that the information provided lacked innovation and that royalties were unreasonable.

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