The European Union head office said yesterday it expects to decide by the end of July whether to impose new fines on Microsoft, which faces...
BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union head office said yesterday it expects to decide by the end of July whether to impose new fines on Microsoft, which faces a deadline today to comply with an earlier order aimed at assuring rivals can compete to supply accessories for its Windows platform.
Spokesman Jonathan Todd said EU antitrust regulators hoped to have a decision on new fines “before summer holidays … before the end of July.”
EU officials said Monday regulators might need several weeks to decide whether to slap Microsoft with huge fines once today’s deadline for the software maker to comply with a landmark ruling expires.
Microsoft said it was still working with the European Commission, the EU’s regulatory arm, to resolve the dispute.
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The EU can fine Microsoft up to 5 percent of its daily global sales for each day a decision is not applied to its satisfaction.
In March 2004, EU regulators fined Microsoft a record $624 million when they ruled the company abusively wielded its Windows software domination to lock competitors out of the market.
Today’s deadline is for Microsoft to submit a final plan for how it will comply with the EU’s antitrust ruling. If dissatisfied with the response, the EU would have to formally notify Microsoft and give it about 10 working days to respond.
If still dissatisfied, EU governments and the full 25-member European Commission then would have to agree on imposing the fine.
Todd said Microsoft could appeal to the EU Court of Justice, Europe’s highest court.