Regulators slap Microsoft with $357m fine

EU regulators fined Microsoft an extra 280.5 million euros for defying a 2004 antitrust ruling, and warned the company to comply or face bigger fines in the future, a Reuters report said.

The report said the tough new penalty was the first of its kind and came on top of a record 497-million-euro fine that the Commission imposed in its landmark antitrust decision against the US software giant in March 2004.

"The EU Commission cannot allow such illegal conduct to continue indefinitely. No company is above the law," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes was quoted as saying.

The Commission required Microsoft to provide technical information to rival server software makers after it found that the company abused the dominance of its Windows operating system, used worldwide on 95% of personal computers, to squeeze out competitors, the report said.

The fine covered the period from December 16 to June 20 at 1.5 million euros daily. It fell short of a possible daily maximum of 2 million euros.

Microsoft faced a further fine of up to 3 million euros a day if it still does not comply by July 31, the Reuters report further said.