updated 02:35 pm EDT, Mon October 22, 2007
Microsoft gives in to EU
Microsoft today announced that it will not appeal an antitrust decision made by the European Union in 2004, bringing an end to three years of struggling by the Redmond-based company to evade hefty fines. European Union competition commissioner Neelie Kroes today said Microsoft's decision will have "profound effects" on the software industry, according to Reuters, and stated that the repercussions will start now and continue for "years to come." The software giant paid around $700,000 in 2004, followed by a whopping $400 million last year for failing to comply with the European Commission's demands. "It is a victory for the consumer," Kroes said.
"As from today Microsoft has established compliance, no doubt about that," Kroes added. "There is no reason to impose further penalties on Microsoft as of this day."
The commissioner maintained the possibility of further fining Microsoft for its failure to comply with demands between 2006 and today, however.
Microsoft in early March of 2007 was still refusing to comply with demands by the European Union to give third-party software developers fair access to its Windows code, and faced fines as high as $4 million per day if it failed to respond within a month's time.
"In the 50 years of European antitrust policy, it's the first time we've been confronted with a company that has failed to comply with an antitrust decision," the Commission said in early March when reflecting on Microsoft's non-compliance.
The Redmond-based company early last month even threatened to delay the forthcoming launch of Windows Vista as it voiced frustration over the steep fines related to antitrust rulings.