Europe makes Microsoft pay

Stephen Beard Feb 27, 2008
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Europe makes Microsoft pay

Stephen Beard Feb 27, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: European regulators have slapped Microsoft with a $1.3 billion fine. The company’s accused of failing to obey an antitrust order that’s four years old. Stephen Beard has more from London.


Stephen Beard: Even for Microsoft, this is an eye-watering penalty — the largest ever in Europe. It comes on top of a series of earlier fines for the same offense. The total is now more than $2.5 billion.

Most of that is for defying the European Commission’s original ruling in 2004. The case concerns software that operates groups of printers for small businesses. The commission ordered Microsoft to open up its operating system to allow rival companies to develop that software. Microsoft said it would only do so for large royalties.

The commission said that was unreasonable. Last week, Microsoft promised to give its rivals greater access to its codes. But that pledge will have no effect on today’s fine, or on two other E.U. investigations that are underway.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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