Skip to main content

Microsoft's EU appeal case ends

The week-long anti-competition hearing involving Microsoft and the European Commission has finished - with neither side willing to predict the outcome.

Microsoft is appealing against a 2004 ruling when Brussels told it to change how it sells its Media Player software and fined it 497m euros ($613m; £344m).

The Court of First Instance may not deliver a verdict until early 2007.

Defeat could damage the Commission's authority as a competition regulator or Microsoft's future business model.

Microsoft lawyers spent much of the hearing arguing that its fine should be rescinded and that it should not have to produce a version of its Windows operating system without the Media Player software.

They also argued against the 2004 ruling's stipulation that Microsoft should share information about Windows with rival software companies.

The Commission's advocates told the court that the fine was needed as a deterrent and that Microsoft was abusing its market leading position in the desktop software market to stifle competition.

No predictions

Both sides left the court saying the case was too close to call.

"It would be a mistake to try and predict the outcome and I won't try to do so," said Microsoft lawyer Brad Smith.

Commission counterpart Cecilio Madero said he wouldn't "speculate about the end result".

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Iran: A Rummy Guide

To borrow a phrase used for Iraq, there are 'things we now know we don't know.'Back in June 2002, as the Bush administration started pushing hard for war with Iraq by focusing on fears of the unknown—terrorists and weapons of mass destruction—Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld explained that when it came to gathering intelligence on such threats, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Elaborating, Rumsfeld told a news conference: "There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know."Now there's a crisis brewing with Iran. And the same basic problem applies: what is known, what is suspected, what can be only guessed or imagined? Is danger clear and present or vague and distant? Washington is abuzz now, as it was four years ago, with "sources" talking of sanctions…