EU Fines Microsoft Record $1.3B

Regulators punish company for overcharging Windows developers
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2008 5:01 AM CST
EU Fines Microsoft Record $1.3B
EU Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes addresses the media at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Oct. 3, 2007. The European Union fined Microsoft Corp. a record euro899 million (US$1.3 billion) on Wednesday for charging rivals too much for software information.   (Associated Press)

The European Commission fined Microsoft today a record $1.35 billion for failing to comply with its 2004 antitrust ruling. The EU's executive branch said that the company continued to charge "unreasonable prices" to developers building programs for Windows despite both the earlier ruling and a court verdict last September. The fine is the largest ever for a single company, dwarfing the $613 million penalty the commission imposed on Microsoft in 2004.

"Microsoft was the first company in 50 years of EU competition policy that the commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an antitrust decision," said Neelie Kroes, the European competition commissioner. She added that the commission could have imposed double what it did, but decided $1.35 billion was "a reasonable response to a series of quite unreasonable actions." (More Microsoft stories.)

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