EU slaps Microsoft with $613M penalty

It's official. The EU has decided Microsoft has abused, and is still abusing, Windows' status as an almost-monopoly, and will force MS to pay a whopping $613 million fine as part of its punishment. The antitrust authority also gave MS 90 days to produce a version of Windows for European computer manufacturers that's stripped of Windows Media Player and 120 days to provide some sort of server code to competitors. (The report isn't terribly specific about which code Microsoft has to open.)

When the U.S. moved against Microsoft on anti-trust grounds in the browser wars, sanctions came years too late to matter. Has the EU moved quickly enough to prevent a repeat performance in media players? More importantly, could its determination and quick action actually work as a deterrent against such Microsoft behavior in the future?

(Credit the crazy Panamanian for sending us the news.)

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