updated 05:00 pm EDT, Wed June 27, 2012
Second-highest court in Europe rules against Microsoft
Microsoft has lost an appeal against a European Commission decision over its business practices. The General Court, Europe's second-highest, denied the appeal of the 2008 fine, which saw Microsoft faced a fine of 899 million Euros ($1.35 billion at the time, $1.12 billion now) for violating existing antitrust sanctions. This has been cut to 860 million Euros ($1.07 billion) due to Microsoft being permitted by the Commission to apply "restrictions concerning the distribution of 'open source' products" up to September 17, 2007, according to Reuters.
Microsoft appealed against the decision in May 2011, something it promised to do in 2008, and has expressed disappointment at the verdict. "Although the General Court slightly reduced the fine, we are disappointed with the court's ruling," a statement from the company reads. The European Commission has welcomed the ruling, with EC Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia adding that the judgment "confirms that the imposition of such penalty payments remains an important tool at the Commission's disposal."
No mention of appealing the latest verdict has been made by Microsoft as yet, which if it chooses to would escalate matters to the highest court in Europe, the EU Court of Justice. Other companies will be paying attention to the case as it proceeds, with Intel having received a similar antitrust fine in 2009 for 1.06 billion Euros ($1.32 billion currently) that it is challenging in July.