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New deadline for Microsoft, or else fines

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New deadline for Microsoft, or else fines

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Given a new deadline, Microsoft has four weeks to reply to charges by the European Commission that 1,500 pages of information it gave the EU competition authority contained no “significant innovation”.

Brussels has warned the US software giant it faces further fines – as high as three million euros per day – for seeking unreasonable prices from software makers for interoperability protocols.

A company spokesman said the prices were at least 30 percent below the market rate.

The Commission found in 2004 that the firm had abused its dominant market position and violated European Union competition rules by failing to give to other makers of small-business servers information needed for them to compete with Microsoft’s own products.

The idea is to allow rivals to develop programmes that run smoothly with Microsoft’s Windows operating system

A spokesman in Brussels said this “is the first time we have been confronted by a company which has failed to comply with an antitrust decision: We are in unknown territory.”