Commission considers Microsoft still not compliant with EC Treaty
The European Commission sent a letter to Microsoft on 10 March 2006
stating Microsoft was still not compliant with the EC Treaty rules on
abuse of dominant position.
In March 2004, The Commission ordered Microsoft to disclose complete and
accurate interface documentation, which would allow non-Microsoft workgroup
servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers. The
Commission issued a decision on 10 November 2005 that warned Microsoft to
comply by 15 December 2005 with its obligations to: (i) supply complete and
accurate interoperability information; and (ii) make that information
available on reasonable terms or face a daily fine of up to €2
million. The Commission then sent a Statement of Objections to Microsoft on
22 December 2005.
The letter sent on 10 March 2006 includes a report from Neil Barrett,
Microsoft’s monitoring Trustee that supports the opinions included in the
Statement of Objections. According to the Trustee, Microsoft did not make
substantial changes to the technical documentation between 29 December 2005
and meetings on 30 and 31 January. According to him the material is still
incomplete, inaccurate and unusable.
In the Commission’s opinion Microsoft did not understand the role of its
Trustee who is supposed to have an active part in monitoring its compliance.
After having analysed the Trustee’s report as well as Microsoft’s
standpoint, TAEUS, the consultants recruited by the Commission, also
concluded in their report that the documentation was inadequate and
In addition, both reports estimate that Microsoft seems to consider that the
users of the documentation are the ones to report incorrect, incomplete or
inaccurate information, which Microsoft would then correct.
Microsoft has requested an oral hearing, scheduled for 30 and 31 March 2006.
The Commission may then, after consulting the Advisory Committee of Member
State Competition Authorities, issue a decision imposing a fine on Microsoft
for every day between 15 December 2005 and the date of that decision. The
Commission may also take further steps to continue the daily fine
until Microsoft complies with the March 2004 Decision.
Competition: Commission publishes information on the role of the Monitoring
Trustee in the Microsoft case (10.03.2006)
Competition: Commission sends new letter to Microsoft on compliance with
You’re taking the p*ss, Europe tells Microsoft (11.03.2006)
Microsoft gets record-breaking fine (24.04.2004)