Court of First Instance Confirms Penalty Payment for Microsoft

18 October 2007

In 2004, the European Commission imposed a penalty for abuse of the company’s dominant position and for behaviour which constituted abuse of its dominant market position, which violated Article 82 of the EC Treaty. The commission likewise ordered Microsoft to disclose source code- thus allowing other competitors to manufacture products that are compatible with those of Microsoft-, as well as sell a version of their Windows operating system which did not include Windows Media Player.

The Court of First Instance now confirms the Commission’s ruling. This is a landmark decision, both for the amount of the penalty payment as well as the conclusions touched on in the area of software program interoperability.

More than 95% of the world’s personal computers have Microsoft operating systems, something which, in the opinion of Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes is unacceptable for consumers, for companies and for the development of technology.

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