Microsoft Faces First European Union Antitrust Fines

Microsoft Corp. looks more than likely to earn a place in history by becoming the first company to be hit with daily fines by the European Union for failing to respect an antitrust ruling.The E.U.'s highest antitrust official, Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, has given the company until Feb. 15 to comply with the Commission's March 2004 ruling or face a fine of up to €2 million (US$2.4 million) a day.

Events of recent weeks indicate that the company will not meet the Commission's demands by that date, so the procedure will be launched to impose daily penalties. This view is shared not just by Microsoft's rivals and complainants in the case, but also independent analysts. "I wouldn't be at all surprised if the E.U. went ahead and fined Microsoft," said Gary Barnett, an analyst covering the company at Ovum Ltd. in the U.K.

News source: InfoWorld

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