Software giant Microsoft Corp. hopes an impending court ruling on its five-year antitrust battle with the European Union will bring both sides back to the negotiating table, but EU regulators still balk at resuming direct negotiations, officials said Thursday. The European Court of First Instance is expected to decide by Monday whether to stay pending appeal the EU's March order for Microsoft to change its business practices and pay a 497 million euro ($666 million) fine, lawyers said.
Considering that the full appeal could take years, the consequences of a suspension could be huge. If court President Bo Vesterdorf backs the EU, the U.S.-based software giant would be forced to divulge some of its long-cherished trade secrets to competitors and untie the digital Media Player from its Windows platform. Microsoft will be carefully assessing the legal arguments Vesterdorf gives.
News source: eWeek