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Microsoft faces EU fines as antitrust complaints deadline looms

[JURIST] [JURIST Europe] Microsoft [corporate website] must provide a written answer to EU complaints that it has failed to comply with an antitrust ruling against the software giant by midnight European time Wednesday or risk daily fines of up to 2 million euros ($2.38 million US). The European Commission (EC) [official website], however, has branded 71 of the 100 files relating to Microsoft's antitrust file as confidential; Microsoft claims it needs access to those files to defend itself and has stated it will be requesting an oral hearing to contest the confidential labeling.

In March 2004, the Commission concluded a five year investigation [EC press release] which held that Microsoft had failed [ruling PDF text] to make its server software sufficiently accessible to outside programmers. The Commission also levied a record fine of 497 million euros ($613 million US) against Microsoft and ordered that it share its technical data. Microsoft has instead offered to share its source code [JURIST report], a move that has been viewed with scepticism by the Commission and Microsoft's rivals. The company provides information on its compliance with the EU ruling [Microsoft press release]. Microsoft's appeal against the Commission's 2004 antitrust ruling is scheduled for late April 2006. AP has more.

Angela Onikepe is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in the UK.

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