by CIO Staff

E.U. Commish: Microsoft Will Likely Be Fined on July 12

Jul 07, 20062 mins

Microsoft corporate headquarters and logo
Credit: Mike Blake/Reuters

Microsoft, the world’s leading producer of software, will most likely be fined on July 12 for its failure to comply with a 2004 European Commission ruling that ordered it to license to competitors proprietary information relating to how its Windows operating system communicates via networks, Bloomberg reports.

The news comes from European Union Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who spoke to reporters in Berlin on Thursday, according to Bloomberg, though she didn’t specify the amount of the possible fines.

“I couldn’t imagine it another way,” Kroes said, according to Bloomberg.

The fines that Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft faces could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars, as the European Union has said they’ll be backdated, Bloomberg reports.

On July 3, representatives of the union’s member states voted in support of the commission’s plan to impose fines of as much as $2.5 million a day for Microsoft’s failure to comply with the commission’s previous order, three sources with inside knowledge of the meeting told Bloomberg. 

If Microsoft is fined the maximum amount per day, it will face at least $522 million in fines on July 12, the day the commission is set to make its final decision, according to Bloomberg.

European Union representatives plan to meet on July 10 to decide on the most appropriate fine to levy against the software giant, the three sources told Bloomberg, and on July 12, their final decision will be announced at a press conference with Kroes.

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s associate general counsel, told the company’s employees last week in a e-mail, “We believe fines to be unjustified and unnecessary,” according to Bloomberg.

Any additional fines imposed on Microsoft would be on top of those handed down in 2004 by former union Competition Commissioner Mario Monti, which totaled roughly $637 million, Bloomberg reports.

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