Microsoft could face massive EU fine

European antitrust enforcers may seek a massive fine from Microsoft and demand that it drop some features from its dominant Windows software, according to a published report citing a confidential European Commission document outlining its case.

The commission, the European Union's executive body, has authority to impose a fine of as much as 10 percent of Microsoft's annual revenue, or $2.5 billion, the report said.

The European investigation alleges that Microsoft illegally used its dominant Windows and Office software to muscle into the fast-growing market for corporate and Internet computer software, where it faces competition from Sun Microsystems, IBM and others, according to the report.

The newspaper said that the European investigation also alleges that Microsoft illegally sought to dominate music and video software for the Web.

The commission alleged that Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft deliberately designed its Windows 2000 desktop software and companion products so that they wouldn't work well with rivals' software, the newspaper noted.

The investigation focused on the market for servers and alleged that Microsoft illegally bundled its Windows Media Player video software into Windows to shut out competition, the report said.

News source: CNet

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