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Thursday, November 23, 2006
Microsoft Files New Antitrust Documents with EU

Microsoft filed revised documents with the European Commission on Thursday aimed at complying with a landmark antitrust decision from 2004, the European Commission said.

Microsoft met a deadline set by Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, but it will be months before it is clear whether the submission is sufficient to avoid a fine that could be as high as 3 million euros ($3.9 million) a day.

The Commission ruled in 2004 that Microsoft had abused its dominant position in the market because Windows, used on more than 95 percent of the world's personal computers, allowed too little interoperability for other software makers.

The Commission's decision, it recalled, required Microsoft to "disclose and license complete and accurate interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers."

"Microsoft has submitted a revised version of the Technical Documentation," the Commission said in a statement.

The Commission set a deadline of July but delayed it until a court proceeding finished in December, 2004. In July, 2006, the Commission fined Microsoft 280.5 million euros for dragging its feet, on top of a fine of almost 500 million euros in 2004 for its initial violation.

In a statement calling the submission of documents a "milestone," Microsoft said it had completed the review and editing of some 100 documents, which number 8,500 pages.

"We will continue to work closely with the Commission and the (independent) Trustee to ensure that we are in full compliance with every aspect of the Commission's decision," the company said in the statement.

Microsoft appealed against the 2004 decision at Europe's second-highest court and is awaiting judgment.

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