Monday, May 23, 2005

$5m a day EU fine looms for Microsoft

Following the Ballmer-Kroes meeting, the E.U. confirmed that Microsoft was still not complying with the order to stop abusing its Windows monopoly and that time was running out.

"All I can say for the moment is we are still not satisfied," said Jonathan Todd spokesperson for Commissioner Kroes. "Patience is not unlimited. We are talking weeks rather than months."

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO - During the past 20 years, Ballmer has headed several Microsoft divisions, including operations, operating systems development, and sales and support. In July 1998, he was promoted to President, a role that gave him day-to-day responsibility for running Microsoft. He was named CEO in January 2000, assuming full management responsibility for the company.
Todd confirmed on Friday that the clock is ticking.

"Within a matter of weeks rather than months we will have to decide whether we are satisfied that they are complying with the remedies to our satisfaction," he said.

Microsoft may be fined up to 5 percent of its daily worldwide turnover.

Microsoft is appealing the Commission's decision before the EU's Court of First Instance in Luxembourg.

On Friday, the court admitted the European Committee for Interoperable Systems, a business group, as a formal party in oral proceedings on the grounds that it has an interest in the outcome of the case.

That group includes companies such as IBM, Oracle, Nokia and Red Hat.

An oral hearing in the case is expected before the end of the year

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