Microsoft has lost its appeal against a record €497m (£343m; US$690m) fine imposed by the European Commission in a long-running competition dispute.The European Court of First Instance upheld the ruling that Microsoft had abused its dominant market position.
“The Court of First Instance essentially upholds the Commission’s decision finding that Microsoft abused its dominant position,” the court’s statement said.It threw out just one small part of the European Commission’s ruling, which had established an independent monitoring trustee to supervise Microsoft’s behaviour.”The Court criticises, in particular, the obligation imposed on Microsoft to allow the monitoring trustee, independently of the Commission, access to its information, documents, premises and employees and also to the source code of its relevant products,” it said.Microsoft has now been ordered to pay 80% of the Commission’s legal costs, while the Commission has to carry a specific part of Microsoft’s costs.
Michael Reynolds, of law firm Allen & Overy, said the important thing was “that these principles of the judgement will not just apply to the Microsoft case”.”They will apply to any dominant company that engages in the same behaviour. It’s not just about Microsoft,” said Mr Reynolds. “It provides legal certainty now as to what you can and you can’t do in relation to information you have to make available to companies who compete in your environment to enable them to be a viable competitor.”
Microsoft loses antitrust appeal
Microsoft has lost its appeal against the landmark fine and sanctions imposed by the European commission for abusing its dominant position in the computer market.