EU regulators back Microsoft ruling

Antitrust regulators from the 15 European Union countries have unanimously backed the European Commission's negative ruling...

Antitrust regulators from the 15 European Union countries have unanimously backed the European Commission's negative ruling against Microsoft.

In less than two weeks, barring a last-minute settlement, the commission will declare Microsoft an abusive monopolist, impose a fine anywhere between $100m and $1bn and order the company to make fundamental changes to the way it sells software in Europe.

Microsoft gave no reaction to the advisory committee result. Spokesman Tom Brookes said the company is still pursuing a settlement.

Computer industry analysts said that the most important aspect of a negative ruling against Microsoft will concern how the company sells its music and video playing software program Media Player.

Instead of bundling the program into its Windows operating system as Microsoft does at present, the commission is expected to demand that the company sells two versions of Windows to PC manufacturers: one with Media Player and one with the program stripped out.

Paul Meller writes for IDG News Service

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