Microsoft loses EU antitrust case

Written by Phil Cogar

September 18, 2007 | 17:09

Tags: #antitrust #court #law

Companies: #eu #microsoft

It's been a long and arduous court battle for the European Union. Battling in court for almost a decade and winning once before, the EU has done it again. It appears that Microsoft has lost its appeal in one of, if not, the largest antitrust cases in European courts.

The Court of First Instance has upheld an earlier ruling by the European Commission that Microsoft has abused its market position to keep competitors out of the way. The courts ruled that Microsoft will have to pay the £345 million fine, disclose interoperability information, and offer a Windows Media Player-less version of its Windows operating system.

The CFI did throw out the earlier decision that an independent trustee would monitor the implementation of the ruling.

This case will set a precedent on how the EU will proceed against other foreign companies that it deems as a monopoly. Now a company can be legally charged and fined if the courts find that they have violated antitrust laws. Intel has probably been watching this case with close scrutiny, as it's likely the next company to head into the European court system over antitrust issues.

Microsoft still has one chance left to win the case, as the company will be able to take an appeal to the European Court of Justice for one final decision. By the time it reaches that far though, everything that the case is about could be null and void for the company. Both Apple and a variety of Linux flavours have made large strides into the OS market and have been slowly chipping away at Microsoft's market share.

Jumping for joy like many members of the EU Competition Commission? Let us know your thoughts on the latest case ruling over in the forums or in the comment section below.
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