EU Court To Finally Rule on Microsoft’s Antitrust Fine

EU Court To Finally Rule on Microsoft's Antitrust Fine

The European Union General Court will finally settle on a ruling regarding Microsoft’s failure to work with a 2004 antitrust order. They will make the final decision on whether or not the giant tech company has to pay 899 million euro ($1.12), reports CNET.

Back in 2004, the European Commission, when they forced Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to provide interoperability information to the rivals to make sure that the software is compatible on Windows programs. This, of course, was actually part of a larger complaint that required Microsoft to be licensed “under reasonable and nondiscriminatory” terms.

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Later in 2008, the EU regulators instated a fine of 899 million euros because Microsoft’s licensing rate was too high. Prior in late October, the regulators claimed that Microsoft sold their licenses at the flat rate of 10,000 euros and an optional licensing fee for worldwide use at 0.4 %. Microsoft then appealed the fine while saying it was “most undeserved”. Last year they argued in court that the case wouldn’t have been brought up if the European Commission explained the rates they wanted Microsoft to charge.

The tech company’s attorney Jean Francois Bellis asked the General Court on how the Commission could slap a fine on the company just for failing to charge decent rates when the parameters were not finalized until much later.

Now that the whole argument between Microsoft and the European Commission is over, it should get interesting to see how the General Court decides. On one hand, it’s not really fair that EC is placing blame on Microsoft when they didn’t finalize the terms until late but perhaps there was a mutual agreement or understanding that was broken. We obviously don’t know all the details of the case or what went on in the courtroom.  I trust that General Court will make the right decision from a nonbiased point-of-view.