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EU court to hear groups, vendors in Microsoft antitrust appeal

By Paul Meller
December 11, 2008 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - The European Court of First Instance has agreed to allow interventions in Microsoft Corp.'s appeal of the $1.4 billion fine it incurred from the European Commission for breaking Europe's antitrust laws.

The lineup of participants will be almost identical to the one during the original appeal of the 2004 antitrust ruling.

The Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) and the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) will side with Microsoft, while IBM, Oracle Corp. and Red Hat Inc. will support the commission in the court appeal.

The Free Software Foundation Europe, the Samba Team of open-source software programmers, the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) will also turn up in support of the commission, the court said in a statement released earlier this week.

Microsoft was fined €497 million ($663 million U.S.) in 2004 for abusing its dominant position in the software market to the unfair detriment of competitors. It was also ordered to change its business practices to come into line with European antitrust law.

Microsoft failed to honor the order for three years after the 2004 ruling, employing delaying tactics despite being threatened with further fines. The commission imposed an additional €600 million in fines ($800 million U.S.) because of the delays.

Microsoft is expected to dispute the additional fines, but not the original €497 million fine, people close to the case said.

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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