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February 2, 2006

Gates says latest Microsoft EU spat no biggie

Posted by David Hunter at 10:53 PM ET.

It may have been getting nasty this morning in the ongoing legal maneuvering between Microsoft’s lawyers and the European Commission, but Bill Gates is taking the high road:

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates on Thursday said a dispute with the EU was relatively unimportant, as the firm sought more time to answer arguments and avoid fines of up to $2.4 million a day.

But in an interview with Polish private television channel TVN 24, Gates downplayed the significance of the case in the context of the company’s entire relationship with the EU.

“The fact that there is a legal issue — that’s not the overall relationship. The overall relationship is fantastic. Today, this is not very important,” Gates said in an interview on private Polish television TVN 24 in remarks translated into Polish and retranslated by Reuters.

“We are concentrating on broadening access to computers and cutting costs, and we do a lot with the European Commission, because they want to make this a more competitive region … we are a key partner in helping with that.”

He said the Commission itself was an enthusiastic user of Microsoft products, and added that he had spoken with commissioners last week about how they could use technology better.

Filed under Antitrust, Bill Gates, Executives, General Business, Governmental Relations, Legal, Public Relations

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