EU scrutinizes Microsoft's Media Player

European Commission investigators are seeking more evidence on whether Microsoft Corp. uses its Windows Media Player software to discriminate against rivals, putting in jeopardy the commission's deadline of next month for ruling on the 4-year-old antitrust case.

Regulators in Brussels, Belgium, have sent a 61-question survey to film and music companies to bolster their case that the world's largest software maker is using Media Player to hamper competing formats such as Apple Computer Inc.'s QuickTime and RealNetworks Inc.'s RealPlayer.

With rival Linux winning business away from Microsoft's Windows operating system, the delay could undermine Competition Commissioner Mario Monti's central case that Windows gives the software maker an illegal monopoly in the market for servers.

Monti could impose tougher conditions on Microsoft than the United States did and fine it as much as 10 percent of annual sales, or $2.8 billion.

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