EU slaps Microsoft with record fine

Microsoft is to pay the European Union a massive €899 million in fines for its anti-competitive behaviour, the European commission ruled today.

The record fine dates back to 2004, when the EU ruled that Microsoft had abused its position in the market for operating systems, especially those for PC media players and office servers. Microsoft has so far ignored the EU’s decision, BBC News reports.

The record fine can be added to the previous €497 million Microsoft was fined in 2004 after abusing its dominant position. The ruling said that Microsoft was guilty of not providing key code to rival software makers.

Grand total

This takes the grand total fine and penalty amount posed by the European Commission up to around €1.7 billion, according to EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes.

Microsoft tried to fight the EU’s decision until September last year, when a court dismissed its appeal. The European Commission has since started new investigations into how difficult it is for Microsoft software to interact with rival products. Last week, Microsoft claimed to have made various technical changes to improve interoperability.

"Microsoft was the first company in 50 years of EU competition policy that the Commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an antitrust decision," Kroes said in a statement.

"I hope that today's decision closes a dark chapter in Microsoft's record of non-compliance," Kroes said.