Aoife White explains at the AP:
Microsoft Corp. took the unusual step Thursday of making public its formal response to European Union charges that it was failing to comply with a 2004 antitrust ruling.
Companies usually keep their defense secret, but Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans said the company released the non-confidential version of the report out of concerns the entire regulatory process has not been transparent enough.
The document outlines some of the ways in which Microsoft believes that EU regulators have changed or have not been clear about the expectations they have for the company, Evans said. It also highlights the growing tensions between the software giant and the European regulators.
“We think that this is necessary to ensure that we get a fair hearing,” Evans said.
The 78-page response, along with several appendices, was filed with the EU on Feb. 15 as the EU threatened the Redmond, Wash., software company with daily files of $2.38 million.
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.