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Microsoft fined £200m by European Commission

The European Commission has fined Microsoft 280.5m euros (£200m) for not complying with its 2004 anti-trust judgement.

The fine comes on top of a 497m euro (£355m) fine the Commission levied on Microsoft in March 2004 for abusing its dominant market position.

The latest fine covers the period from December 16 last year, a deadline set by EU regulators for Microsoft to make available its workgroup server protocols to rivals, to 20 June this year.

The fine was worked out by multiplying 187 days against a daily fine of 1.5m euros.

Competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said, “Microsoft has still not put an end to its illegal conduct. I have no alternative but to levy penalty payments for this continued non-compliance.”

Kroes warned the company it was facing a fine last week, on the run up to regulators meeting to discuss Microsoft’s conduct this week.

The company was facing a possible daily fine of 2m euros per day, according to previous Commission warnings. The Commission has now told the company it may be fined up to 3m euros a day if it still fails to comply with the anti-trust judgement by 31 July.

Microsoft said the fine was unjustified, but said it would continue to work to comply by 18 July, a deadline that had already been set and shortly before the commissioners leave for their summer break.

The Commission wants Microsoft to provide documentation for its workgroup server protocols in an acceptable format, that makes it easier for its rivals to build alternative server products that work in a Windows environment.

Microsoft is currently appealing the whole anti-trust judgement and could be reimbursed if it wins a long drawn out appeal.

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