COMPETITION
Computer Software

The European Commission is threatening to fine Microsoft 5% of its global revenue for failing to comply with sanctions imposed last year. Microsoft was fined E497 million ( million) and was ordered to implement EU remedies forthwith – these included allowing competitors access to software protocols so they could compete in the provision of interoperable servers and providing Windows software without the obligation of taking Microsofts MediaPlayer software. Microsoft has already posted details of secret protocols to enable other software manufacturers to produce servers compatible with Microsoft’s Windows operating system but is now disputing the royalty (or licence) fees competitors should pay. The software giant also has chosen the name ‘Windows Reduced Media Edition’ for the new version of soft ”unbundled’ from Microsoft’s MediaPlayer software. This and other names (for what Microsoft call their ‘degraded’ software) have bee rejected by the EU as a serious deterrent to consumers. Microsoft’s total revenues in 2004 were approximately $40 billion.
Source: The Guardian 26/02/05

Also see: Microsoft Ordered to Open Up Windows – Law Updates March 2005