Microsoft appeals €889-million antitrust fine

After Microsoft’s record 889-million euro fine in 2008 for antitrust issues, the software giant has appealed against the enormous sum of money, claiming it was unnecessary in an EU court on Tuesday. The ~US$1.3 billion fine was imposed in 2008 after Microsoft failed to comply with the European Commission’s orders four years previous to provide information to allow other products to work with Windows machines, which heeded a fairly expensive 497-million euro fine at the time.

Since the fine, Microsoft has attempted to soften the anti-trust case by presenting European customers a browser ballot when trying to access the internet for the first time after its introduction. Microsoft’s lawyer, Jean Francois Bellis, claims “This case would not have arisen if the Commission had been as explicit with respect to rates which it wanted Microsoft to charge as it had been with all other terms of licensing proposed by Microsoft.”

Unfortunately for Microsoft, the EU’s General Court will most likely side with the Commissions side and will keep the fine standing, according to Christian Riss-Madsen (of law firm O'Melveny & Myers) who spoke to Reuters. He said: “I would think, based on its track record, the court would be reluctant to overrule the Commission's fining decision, giving the Commission some discretion in its enforcement.”

The General Court usually takes between six months to a year to deliver a verdict after the hearing, so we will be learning of the outcome sometime towards the end of the year/early next year.

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