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European Commission sets record antitrust fine for elevator companies

[JURIST] The European Commission (EC) [official website] on Wednesday levied a record-breaking antitrust fine [press release] against the four biggest elevator and escalator manufacturers in Europe after finding them guilty of restrictive business practices in violation of Article 81 of the EC Treaty [text]. Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp [corporate websites] were fined €992 million for fixing prices related to installing and maintaining elevators and escalators in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The companies have the right to appeal the fine to the Court of First Instance (CFI) [official website] and then to the Court of Justice of the European Communities [official website] in Luxembourg. Bloomberg has more.

Microsoft received a then-record fine of €662 million [JURIST report; text, PDF] from the EC in 2004 for "deliberately restricting interoperability between Windows PCs and non-Microsoft work group servers." The EC subsequently imposed an additional €357 million fine [JURIST report] when Microsoft failed to provide to competitors the information necessary to develop software compatible with the Windows operating system as required by the 2004 decision.

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