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February 15, 2006

Microsoft gets cranky with European Commission

Posted by David Hunter at 12:53 PM ET.

Today’s episode of Microsoft’s ongoing fight with the EU antitrust watchdogs at the European Commission packed some heat according to AFP:

Threatened with massive fines, Microsoft sent an 11th-hour response to EU demands that the US software giant prove it was not abusing its dominant market position.

As the clock ticked down to a midnight deadline, Microsoft sent a detailed but clearly irritated 75-page response to the European Commission, which polices competition issues in Europe.

Fuelling fears of a future showdown, critics said the software giant’s answer suggested that it has no intention of complying with the commission.

In its reply, which Microsoft said provides clear evidence that it fully complies with the demands, the firm accused the commission of ignoring key information and denying it due process to defend itself.

And in what appeared to be a complaint about the findings of the trustee in the case — an expert endorsed by the company — it also filed “two independent expert reports by software system engineering professors”.

“We conclude that the interoperability information as provided by Microsoft meets current industry standards, particularly in such a complex domain,” said a separate 45-page document.

The Microsoft press release is titled Microsoft Refutes European Commission Case and subtitled:

The company’s response to Commission allegations provides clear evidence that Microsoft is in full compliance with the technical documentation mandate. The response also documents how the Commission has disregarded evidence and denied due process.

There’s more coverage from the AP and BetaNews. The Microsoft strategy must be to overturn the Commission’s ruling on appeal, because they sure aren’t trying to win any friends there. Next step is the hearing on Microsoft’s response in four to six weeks.

Filed under Antitrust, General Business, Governmental Relations, Legal

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2 Responses to “Microsoft gets cranky with European Commission”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » European Commission immediately rejects one of Microsoft’s arguments Says:

    [...] In an uncharacteristic burst of speed, the European Commission has already rejected one of Microsoft’s arguments in the response filed earlier today. Reuters: The European Commission immediately rejected one of Microsoft Corp’s defences against a possible 2 million euro daily antitrust fine and said on Wednesday it was analysing other aspects of the statement. [...]

  2. Microsoft News Tracker » Microsoft posts EU antitrust response online Says:

    [...] The full set of documents is available here and in skimming them, I didn’t notice any particular surprises for anyone who has been following this case. Presumably, Microsoft and their counsel feel that the public release cost them nothing and will bolster their case in the court of public opinion, although one can question the extent to which the notorious EU bureaucracy is ever affected by that. More plausibly, it could be another step in a campaign to woo individual national governments and if that is the case, that means Microsoft has given up hope of reaching a satisfactory settlement with the European Commission or within the EU legal system and will need relief at the highest level. Filed under Legal, Governmental Relations, General Business, Antitrust Listen to this article   [Permalink] [...]

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