Microsoft publishes key anti-trust documents as rivals cry foul again

Microsoft has made public a series of documents submitted to the European Commission as it seeks to fend off anti-trust action.

Microsoft has made public a series of documents submitted to the European Commission as it seeks to fend off anti-trust action.

The Commission is threatening to fine the software giant £1.42m a day over its non-compliance with a 2004 anti-trust ruling.

The documents posted on the Microsoft website make up its formal response to a Statement of Objections issued by the Commission in December 2005.

The Commission is demanding that Microsoft must make its workgroup server protocols available to competitors, to allow other software firms to more easily develop applications for the Windows environment, in line with an anti-trust ruling made in 2004.

Microsoft claims it is “in full compliance with the technical documentation requirements imposed by the Commission in 2004”. The published papers also detail “numerous ways in which the Commission had ignored key information and denied Microsoft due process in defending itself”, the company said.

The move comes a day after a group of Microsoft’s rivals – including IBM, Nokia, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems – filed a complaint with the European Commission alleging that the firm’s business practices “threaten to deny enterprises and individual consumers real choice among competing software products”.

The companies, grouped together in the European Committee for Interoperable Systems, are urging the commission to act against Microsoft practices that they claim extend its anti-competitive behaviour into new product areas “beyond the two that were the focus of the Commission’s 2004 decision”.

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