Microsoft to Pay a £345 Million Fine

By: Anja Glauch

Software giant Microsoft has lost its appeal against the European Commission at the Court of first instance and due to its anti-competitive actions it has been ordered to pay a ?345 million fine.

"The court of first instance essentially upholds the commission's decision finding that Microsoft abused its dominant position"- Court's statement.

Over the past 9 years the European Commission has battled against Microsoft to make the software market a more competitive one. More recently in 2004, Microsoft was ordered to share information with its software rivals, so that their products could operate with other computer systems. As well as making their Windows operation software available without Windows Media Player, which was seen as being anti-competitive since the user would not have a direct option as to what entertainment software to use.

On Monday the court has ruled that Microsoft's behaviour has been anti-competitive, and that their software should not be sold as part of a package and that they should share information with rivals. Microsoft is now unlikely to appeal again, and will comply with the demands. However they feel that handing information over to rivals would only affect theirs and competitors creativity.

Neelie Koroes, the competition commissioner has stated that "Microsoft cannot abuse its windows monopoly to exclude competitors in other markets". She has also predicted Microsoft's 95% market share to decrease.

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