Another $634M fine to follow if Microsoft does not comply by July 31st

The European Commission today fined Microsoft a whopping $375.4 million for failure to comply with antitrust rulings. The EU had previously fined Microsoft approximately $634.7 million in 2004 for taking advantage of its monopolistic position in the market.

The EU had previously told Microsoft to open up its code as well as open up its Windows operating system to competitors. The amount of the fine comes from the number of days the EU waited for Microsoft to comply. Having violating the ruling since December 16th of 2005 all the way to June 20th of 2006, the EU fined Microsoft at a rate of approximately $1.92 million per day.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes told reporters that "Microsoft has still not put an end to its illegal conduct. I have no alternative but to levy penalty payments for this continued noncompliance." According to the EU, if Microsoft still does not comply by July 31st of 2006, it will be facing an heavier fine of $3.83 million per day. Microsoft however, says that the fines are unjustified. The company is currently appealing the decision.

Since then, Microsoft has responded to the EU with a public statement claiming "We have great respect for the Commission and this process, but we do not believe any fine, let alone a fine of this magnitude, is appropriate given the lack of clarity in the Commission’s original decision and our good-faith efforts over the past two years. We will ask the European courts to determine whether our compliance efforts have been sufficient and whether the Commission’s unprecedented fine is justified."

DailyTech previously reported that the EU would raise the daily fine cap for Microsoft if it does not comply. The EU decided today that it would penalize Microsoft anyway for the lack of compliancy during the last several months.

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