COMPETITION
Technology

Computer giant Microsoft has been ordered to pay a million fine (497 million euros) to the European Commission for anti-competitive activities and abuse of market dominance. This is the biggest fine ever in Europe for a competition case. The company had appealed to the European Court of First Instance in Brussels but the ECJ upheld the European Commission’s ruling in March 2004 that the firm had abused a virtual monopoly. In addition, Microsoft must now make Windows available to consumers without its Media Player software bundled in as part of the package. The European Commission’s aim is to give Media Player’s competitors such as Apple’s Quicktime and RealNetwork a level playing field. The company must also hand over confidential coding information from the Window’s operating system to rivals. Microsoft may still appeal to the full European Court of Justice. The Court of First Instance rejected a suspension of payment of the fine until such appeal.

See: www.eubusiness.com/afp/041222193914.qgqu0dis