Microsoft has gone to various US courts to demand that some of its major rivals hand over documents related to the European Commission’s anti-trust case against the company.
Microsoft has accused the Commission of acting in an unfair manner against it in the case, particularly in communicating with Microsoft’s rivals over whether it had complied with the 2004 anti-trust judgement against it.
Microsoft is demanding documents from Sun Microsystems, Oracle, IBM and Novell – all companies that have communicated with the Commission over whether Microsoft has complied with the judgement.
The outstanding area where the Commission says Microsoft has not complied is in the sharing of its workgroup server protocols with its rivals, to allow them to more easily build alternative systems that work within a Windows environment.
Microsoft has accused the Commission of encouraging private communications between its rivals and the independent trustee appointed to oversee Microsoft’s compliance.
That trustee, chosen by Microsoft from a list supplied by the Commission, has already ruled that Microsoft has not complied with the workgroup server judgement provision.
As a result, Microsoft is facing a daily £1.4m fine for not complying. Microsoft insists it has complied and will fight its corner in a hearing with the Commission at the end of this month.
If the Commission sticks to its guns, it is expected to start fining Microsoft soon after the hearing.