The U.S. government sought to influence the European Commission over Microsoft's antitrust case, according to Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.
Kroes said the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Belgium, had asked her to be "nicer" to Microsoft ahead of her decision to fine the software giant 280 million euros ($357 million) in July. The commissioner criticized the approach. "This is of course an intervention which is not possible," Kroes told Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad this week.
When asked if she was annoyed by the embassy's approach, she said: "In my work, I cannot have a preference. I have, however, a personal opinion, but that is for Saturday night."
Microsoft declined to comment on Kroes' claims, but an insider insisted that the company had not tried to influence discussions between the U.S. government and the EC.
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