EU threatens Microsoft with more fines

— 12:45 AM on March 2, 2007

After fining Microsoft a whopping €280.5 million ($369.5 million) last July for allegedly failing to comply with a 2004 antitrust ruling, the European Commission is back on the offensive yet again. This time, the Commission is threatening Microsoft with fines of up to €3 million ($3.96 million) a day because it believes the software giant is setting unreasonable prices for documentation competitors require to make their products interoperable with Windows. Microsoft attempted to justify its pricing with a 1,500-page document, but the Commission rejected that document in a "statement of objections" released on Thursday.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft isn't too thrilled with the Commission's decision. The company's General Counsel Brad Smith told the Associated Press that Microsoft asked for feedback regarding its pricing proposals and documentation six months ago, but that it had only just received a reply "thinly veiled in a threat." Smith claims that the Commission is attempting to regulate the pricing of Microsoft's intellectual property on a global basis, as well, which is out of its jurisdiction.

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