EU ruling on Microsoft by the end of March

By EDRi · February 27, 2004

Antitrust regulators from the all EU member States will discuss a draft European Commission antitrust ruling against Microsoft in Brussels on 15 March. In a second meeting on 22 March the regulators will discuss the measures, including fines, that will be taken against Microsoft. It is expected that the final ruling will become public in the days after the meeting.

The EU Commission has drafted a ruling that finds Microsoft guilty of abusing the dominant position of its Windows operating system. The Commission has been investigating Microsoft practices since 2000, following a complaint by Sun Microsystems. Sun accused Microsoft of abusing its dominant position in the market by not releasing crucial information about the communication between computers and servers running MS Windows. The Commission is also investigating the tying of Windows media player into the Windows operating system. This makes competition for other media players very difficult.

Microsoft can be obliged to reveal interface information so that rival vendors of low-end servers are able to compete on a level playing-field. For Windows media player the Commission can force Microsoft to offer a version of Windows without Windows media player.

The Financial Times reported that internal market Commissioner Bolkestein has intervened to prevent harsh measures against Microsoft.

Microsoft statement

EU Antitrust case against Microsoft 7_792