07.17.2006 12:09 PM
Microsoft fined $357 million by European Union

The European Union last week levied a record $357 million fine against Microsoft for failing to obey its 2004 antitrust order to share program code with competitors. The company was also threatened with new fines of $3.82 million a day beginning July 31.

The new fines would take effect unless the company supplies “complete and accurate” technical information to developers to help them make software that works smoothly with its Windows operating system, the Associated Press reported.

Microsoft claimed it had made huge efforts to comply with the commission's 2004 ruling and said it has 300 people working to meet the requirements by July 18. It called the fine unjustified, but said that will not slow its effort to comply, Reuters reported.

In 2004, the commission ruled that Microsoft squeezed out rivals by withholding information that would help them make server software that could run as smoothly on Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows operating system as its own server software does. The commission had ordered Microsoft to provide that information by June 2004.

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