EU set to fine Microsoft on antitrust case

The European Commission is due to fine Microsoft as part of a hard-line approach toward getting the software giant to comply with antitrust sanctions that appear to be bearing fruit, a Reuters report said.
The report said the extent of Microsoft's newfound cooperation in the face of a penalty that was likely to reach hundreds of millions of euros was impressing even the Americans, until now highly critical of Brussels' approach.
US Justice Department lawyer Renata Hesse conceded in May that the American approach, which did not rely on coercion, had failed to accomplish as much in five years, more than twice the time since Europe in 2004 ruled the firm was exploiting a near-monopoly.
"They're obviously further along at this point than we are," Hesse was quoted as saying.
For the EU, however, the policy was quite clear, the report said.
"If people are not "&brkbar; conforming (with) our regulations, our rules, then it needs to be corrected," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said late last week. The European Commission would reveal this week the size of its fine. It would be set at up to 2 million euros ($2.6 million) a day, backdated to December 15, 2005, the Reuters report further said.

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