“U.S. software giant Microsoft was on Wednesday slapped with a record fine for violating European Union antitrust law and ordered to take immediate steps to stop crushing software rivals. The EU executive said Microsoft must act within four months to change the way it does business in Europe ‘because the illegal behavior is still going on,'” David Lawsky reports for Reuters.
“The European Commission — the enforcer of EU competition law — levied a record 497.2 million euros ($611.8 million) fine, ordered the unbundling of Windows Media Player within 90 days and required that ‘complete and accurate’ information be given to rival makers of computer servers within 120 days,” Lawsky reports. “The Commission characterised Windows, which runs on more than 95 percent of all personal computers, as a ‘near monopoly.'”
“The Commission said its remedy ‘does not mean that consumers will obtain PCs and operating systems without media players. Most consumers purchase a PC from a PC manufacturer which already has put together on their behalf a bundle of an operating system and a media player.’ The Commission ruled that Microsoft bundled its own audiovisual player to damage such rivals as RealNetworks RealPlayer and Apple Computer Quicktime,” Lawsky reports. “A U.S. appeals court ruled unanimously in a final 2001 decision that Microsoft broke antitrust rule, but critics say the remedies there failed to encourage vigorous competition.”
Full article here.
Related MacDailyNews article:
Mac users should not buy Microsoft software – May 16, 2003