Microsoft has submitted its response to the European Commission’s objections concerning the pricing of licenses for its Workgroup Server Protocol Program (WSPP), designed to make Redmond comply with the Commission’s 2004 anti-trust judgement.
The judgement ordered Microsoft to make its Windows Server protocol technologies available on “reasonable and non-discriminatory” terms.
The Commission aims to even out the workgroup server market by making it easier for developers to build rival systems that work in a Windows environment.
The current issue focuses on what Microsoft’s prices must be in order to qualify as “reasonable”.
Last month however, the Commission said Microsoft was charging too much for access to the protocols, and its independent consultant is reported to have suggested that they should even be given away for free.
Microsoft is not requesting an oral hearing relating to the Statement of Objections.
Brad Smith, senior vice-president and general counsel at Microsoft, said, “We continue to seek to resolve these recent issues. We need greater clarity on what prices the Commission wants us to charge, and we believe that is more likely to come from a constructive conversation than from a formal hearing.”
If Microsoft doesn’t comply, it faces a daily fine from the Commission - a threat that has hung over the company since last July.
After initially fining the firm after its judgement, the Commission then went on to fine Microsoft again in July for not complying, but the daily fine has been in the offing since then, with both sides still stalling.
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