EC threatens Microsoft with more fines

The European Commission (EC) has threatened Microsoft with daily fines of €3 million (£1.6m) if it doesn't provide interoperability information about its Windows operating system by 23 November.

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The European Commission (EC) has threatened Microsoft with daily fines of €3 million (£1.6m) if it doesn't provide interoperability information about its Windows operating system by 23 November.

This is the latest in a string of deadlines imposed over the past two years in an effort to get Microsoft to license technical documentation for Windows that would allow rivals to develop server software programs to interoperate with PCs running Windows.

"The Commission expects the remaining omissions and deficiencies in the technical documentation to be remedied by 23 November so that by the end of November the entire set of technical documentation will be available for potential licensees to review," the Commission said.

The order to reveal the documentation was part of the Commission's March 2004 antitrust ruling against Microsoft, under which it also find Microsoft €497m (£264m). In July this year, the Commission fined Microsoft a further €281m (£149m) for failing to submit the information.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes repeated her frustrations in an interview published Wednesday in The Guardian newspaper. "I am not impressed if someone says 90% of the information is already there when we need 100%. It's a jigsaw and some parts are missing.

“In my opinion, this information should have been here a couple of months ago," she said.

Microsoft issued a statement Wednesday, but avoided commenting on the imposition of a new deadline. "Microsoft is committed to full compliance with the Commission's March 2004 decision and we are working closely with the Commission and the Monitoring Trustee towards that goal," it said.

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