Microsoft loses appeal, EU court reduced antitrust fine by 4.3 percent to $1.1 billion

“Microsoft Corp lost its appeal against an EU decision penalizing it for defying an antitrust ruling, bringing nearer to an end a decade-long battle with the European Commission over the U.S. software group’s business practices,” Foo Yun Chee reports for Reuters. “However, judges at the General Court, Europe’s second-highest, reduced the fine by 4.3 percent to 860 million euros ($1.1 billion) from the 899 million euros imposed in 2008. The 2008 fine – about $1.3 billion at the time – amounted to just over 2 percent of Microsoft’s revenue for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008.”

“The European Commission imposed the penalty four years ago – a record at the time – after Microsoft defied an antitrust decision issued four years previously, by delaying the provision of information to make business easier for its rivals,” Chee reports. “The EU regulator said at the time Microsoft had not complied with its order for 488 days.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Bringing nearer to an end a decade-long battle.” What a joke. Do any legal systems on earth operate in a timely fashion?

Chee reports, “”The General Court essentially upholds the Commission’s decision imposing a periodic penalty payment on Microsoft for failing to allow its competitors access to interoperability information on reasonable terms,” the court said in a statement on Wednesday. But it cut the fine “to take account of the fact that the Commission had permitted Microsoft to apply, until September 17, 2007, restrictions concerning the distribution of ‘open source’ products.” Microsoft expressed disappointment at the verdict but did not say if it would appeal to the EU Court of Justice, Europe’s highest.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: By the time Microsoft is actually required to pay even one red cent, the EU won’t exist.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dave Fewster” for the heads up.]


  1. Even an Evil Empire like Microsoft is still allowed due process under the law. However, interest should be charged on fines so that they increase through a period of endless appeals.

  2. “MacDailyNews Take: …Do any legal systems on earth operate in a timely fashion?”

    No & it’s obvious crime pays. Ask Lloyd Blankfein, or Microsoft, or Google.

  3. Its probably the only thing that Microsoft has been able to figure out recently, and that is if they waited long enough and held up paying, their would not be an EU to pay…

  4. Strictly speaking this was decided against MS within 5 years, with a $1.3 billion fine. The EU gave MS a 4 year grace period to pay up before imposing a second ruling, which MS just lost on appeal even if the fine was reduced slightly.

    You can bet if the US had upheld its original decision against MS in 2001/2, there would’ve multiple appeals lasting at least as long.

  5. That timely legal system you are talking about sounds an awful lot like dictatorship.

    I hope speed isn’t the only metric you consider when judging the quality of a legal system.

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