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|EU Fines Microsoft $1 Billion Dollars|
|Posted by Nick G.|
|Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:52|
I know what you're probably thinking about now, "Boy I wish I had a shirt that nice". And if you weren't thinking that, then you were probably thinking, "$1 billion dollars? That's practically chump change for Microsoft." Well, technically, yes, but the numbers aren't important; the reason for this whole debacle is the fact that Microsoft didn't hold up its end of an agreement to share important information between other companies. They've tried to play innocent, but they will still have to pay their dues.
"European Union regulators on Wednesday upheld a billion-dollar fine levied against Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), according to The Wall Street Journal.
The fine was first issued in 2008 because Microsoft failed to comply with an order that it share product information with its competitors. Microsoft argued that it was not given enough guidance for how to comply, but EU regulators apparently weren't swayed. The company also argued that the fine was excessive.
The European General Court, Europe's second-highest court, did lower the fine from 899 million euros to 860 million euros (about US$1.12 billion to $1.07 billion).
Microsoft's tiff with the EU began in 1998 after Sun Microsystems filed an antitrust complaint regarding the Windows operating system. Microsoft was forced to pay 497 million euros ($619 million) in 2004 for "anticompetitive practices" and then another 281 euros million ($350 million) for breaching competition rules.
< All told, Microsoft's tab has reached 1.7 billion euros ($2.1 billion)
European regulators are neck-deep in legal battles with U.S. tech companies. Chip maker Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), which will have a hearing starting on July 3, is seeking to overturn a 1.06 billion euro ($1.3 billion) fine issued in 2009. Oh, and Microsoft is a plaintiff in an upcoming EU case against Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)."