Microsoft says it will not appeal against an EU court ruling, thus limiting the amount it will have to pay the European competition authorities in fines. Microsoft suffered a major legal defeat in September when the EU’s second-highest court backed the European Commission on all major points, ruling the world’s largest software maker abused its dominant market position to crush rivals.
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said this agreement would have “profound effects” on the software industry, and she called it “a victory for the consumer”.
Kroes said: “The March 2004 decision, as confirmed by the Court of first instance last month, also set a precedent with regard to Microsoft’s future market behaviour in this and in other areas. Microsoft should bear this in mind.”
Microsoft was fined nearly half a billion euros in 2004 and a further 280.5 million euros in 2006 for non-compliance. It still faces fines for lack of compliance between 2006 and now. Microsoft is also supposed to make available to other commercial interoperability information, reducing its royalty rates.