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Microsoft Anti-Trust Fine Upheld by EU General Court

The EU General Court, their second highest court, upheld a fine placed on Microsoft by anti-trust regulators in the lower courts.

The second highest court in Europe has upheld an antitrust ruling against Microsoft, saying that it “essentially upholds the Commission’s decision.” However, the court did reduce the record-setting fine from 899 million euros to 860 million euros. The fine was imposed four years ago because Microsoft had not provided certain information to its competitors as it was ordered to do in 2004.

Anti-trust regulators in the European Union initially fined Microsoft 497 million euros for abusing its dominant position in the market to drive away competition. They ordered Microsoft to make its server software code available to competitors so that their products could work alongside each other. They were also ordered to make specific changes to their operating systems, such as removing Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer as built-in defaults for listening to music and browsing the internet. In 2008, an additional fine was given for failing to comply with the 2004 order. At a hearing in May of 2011, Microsoft’s lawyers argued that the fine was excessive and completely undeserved. A statement from the EU General Court in Luxembourg, however, states that the latest decision “rejects all the arguments put forward by Microsoft in support of annulment.”

Microsoft released a statement saying that, despite the reduced fine, they were “disappointed with the ruling.”

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