Microsoft gets hit with $357 million fine

— 9:09 AM on July 12, 2006

The European Commission has finally come to a decision regarding Microsoft's perceived non-compliance with a 2004 antitrust ruling, and it has opted to fine the company a whopping €280.5 million—equivalent to just over $357 million. The fine is the result of accumulated €1.5 million ($1.91 million) daily fines during a 187-day period after a December 16 deadline last year. Microsoft was supposed to provide the last items of required documentation to competitors before the deadline, but the company has now agreed to complete this process by July 18. If Microsoft somehow fails to comply by July 31, the Commission will double daily fines to €3 million ($3.81 million) each day.

About the new fine, Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said, "Microsoft has still not put an end to its illegal conduct. I have no alternative but to levy penalty payments for this continued noncompliance." Microsoft, meanwhile, responded saying, "we do not believe any fine, let alone a fine of this magnitude, is appropriate given the lack of clarity in the Commission's original decision and our good-faith efforts over the past two years." As with every one of the Commission's rulings so far, Microsoft plans to appeal the fine, CNet says.

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