EU court upholds bulk of billion-dollar Microsoft fine
(LUXEMBOURG) - A European court upheld a billion-dollar EU fine against Microsoft on Wednesday but reduced the penalty by tens of millions of euros.
The General Court, the European Union's second highest tribunal, dismissed Microsoft's bid to annul the penalty but cut the US software giant's fine by 39 million euros to 860 million ($1.07 billion).
The fine was imposed by the European Commission in 2008 after Microsoft failed to comply with an order to share product information with rivals so that their software can work with the ubiquitous Windows operating system.
The court, in a statement, said it "essentially upholds the Commission's decision imposing a periodic penalty payment on Microsoft for failing to allow its competitors access to interoperability information on reasonable terms."
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the ruling confirmed that Brussels was right to impose a penalty.
"Today's judgement fully vindicates the enforcement action that the Commission took to ensure Microsoft's compliance with its obligations," Almunia said.
"The requirement that Microsoft disclose information to its competitors so as to allow interoperability between the dominant Windows architecture and rival work group servers brought significant benefits to users," he said.
Microsoft voiced disappointment at the ruling but did not indicate whether it would appeal to the European Court of Justice, the EU's top tribunal.
"Although the General Court slightly reduced the fine, we are disappointed with the Court's ruling," a company statement said.
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