- Title: BELGIUM/FILE: Microsoft finally bows to EU anti-trust measures
- Date: 23rd October 2007
- Summary: REFLECTION OF EU FLAGS ON COMMISSION BUILDING (EU)
- Embargoed: 7th November 2007 12:00
- Topics: European Union,Industry
- Reuters ID: LVAA256FIS0VW8Q0QW6P0G4CIL9S
- Story Text: Microsoft agrees to comply with EU anti-trust rules and will not appeal the landmark ruling of the Luxembourg European Court against the company last month.
Microsoft Corp ended three years of resistance on Monday (October 22), finally agreeing to comply with a landmark 2004 anti-trust decision by the European Commission.
The defeated software giant announced it would not appeal against a decisive European Union court ruling two months ago that backed the bloc's executive Commission.
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes told a news conference there was no reason to impose further penalties on Microsoft, adding that the agreement would have "profound effects" on the software industry.
Microsoft, which was fined nearly half a billion euros in 2004 and a further 280.5 million euros ($400.6 million) in 2006 for non-compliance, faced the prospect of steep new fines if it did not accommodate the Commission.
"With this statement of Steve Ballmer I sincerely hope that we can just close this dark chapter of our relationship and go on in absolutely constructive and positive way," Kroes said.
Kroes said she personally negotiated with Microsoft Chief Executive Ballmer in conversations and over a meal at a restaurant near her hometown of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.
But Microsoft still faces fines for lack of compliance between 2006 and now, potentially reaching hundreds of millions of euros.
Among other reversals, Microsoft will make available to so-called "open source" software developers information they need to make their programmes work smoothly with Microsoft's Windows operating system for personal computers.
Microsoft suffered a major legal defeat in September when the EU's second-highest court backed the Commission on all major points, ruling the world's largest software maker abused its dominant market position to crush rivals.
Microsoft's Windows runs on 95 percent of the world's personal computers. The Court of First Instance said Microsoft must give rival makers of server software information they need to connect smoothly to Windows desktop software.
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