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February 23, 2006

Microsoft Posts Its Reponse to the EU in Antitrust Case

Microsoft has taken the unusual step of posting its response to the European Union which was filed in Brussels on February 15th.  The European Union has said that Microsoft has not been forthcoming with documentation that would allow rivals to connect to Windows servers.  Microsoft was to have complied by December 15th, 2005 or face fines up $2.4 million per day.  The deadline for a response was extended to February 15th and Microsoft had asked for an additional extension, which was denied. 

Microsoft at one time had offered to publish the source code for the parts of Windows Server in question.  The EU rejected that offer as akin to giving ingredients without giving the recipe.  The EU noted at the time that it never asked Microsoft to provide the source code as part of the antitrust case.  Even the monitor approved by both Microsoft and the Commission called Microsoft's documentation less than useful.  In the postings, Microsoft published two studies made by independent experts who countered that view, but did not make their names public.

Should the European Commission impose the fine, it would be retroactive to the December 15th date.  If fines ran through today, the total would be about $168 million and counting.  The original antitrust order is still on appeal.

The MS documents are here.  The San Francisco Chronicle has more details here.

February 23, 2006 | Permalink

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