[JURIST] Microsoft [corporate website; JURIST news archive] announced Wednesday that it has withdrawn its last two appeals [press release] of a European Union antitrust ruling [text; EU materials] requiring the software giant to share technical information with competitors. The software giant dropped an appeal of the 280.5 million fine imposed on it in July 2006 for antitrust violations and a second appeal of a European Commission order that the company license its programs to open source systems like Linux. On Monday, the European Commission [official website] said that Microsoft had agreed to take the necessary steps [JURIST report] to comply with its ruling by allowing open source software developers to access and use interoperability information and by reducing the royalties for a worldwide license.
Last month the European Court of First Instance upheld [text] the European Commission's 2004 landmark ruling [JURIST report] against Microsoft's appeal [JURIST report] of the $613 million fine and order for Microsoft to share its communications code with competitors. The court agreed with the Commission that Microsoft had abused its monopoly power [JURIST report] in the computer market by trying to force consumers into buying Microsoft software, noting that selling media software with its Windows operating system damaged European competitors. AP has more.