Software // Enterprise Applications
News
4/23/2007
04:49 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Seeks More Talks With EU To Settle Licensing Dispute

The company avoids $4 million-a-day fines with an 11th-hour response to allegations that it continues to overcharge rivals for compatibility tools.

Microsoft on Monday dodged -- at least temporarily -- European Union fines of up to $4 million per day by submitting an 11th-hour response to allegations that it continues to overcharge rivals for the tools they need to make their products compatible with the Windows operating system.

Microsoft's response, however, may fall well short of satisfying the EU's competition watchdogs. The company merely told the EU that it needs "greater clarity on what prices the commission wants us to charge" and called for more talks on the issue, according to a statement released Thursday by the software maker.

The EU on March 1 gave Microsoft until Monday to answer allegations that it uses monopolistic practices to inflate royalty prices for interoperability tools or face daily fines of up to $4 million. The EU said it would weigh Microsoft's response in deciding whether to proceed with the penalties.

Microsoft said it wants to settle the issue through informal talks. In a statement, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said the company believes that the information it needs "is more likely to come from a constructive conversation than from a formal hearing."

Microsoft competitors immediately said the company's call for more talks is "another example of its chronic foot-dragging toward anti-trust compliance," according to a statement issued Monday by the European Committee for Interoperable Systems, a lobbying group consisting of Adobe, IBM, Corel, Red Hat, and other Microsoft rivals.

Under a 2004 anti-trust settlement with the EU, Microsoft is required to provide competitors with access to its file and print server protocols and other interoperability documentation on a "reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis."

EU officials maintain that Microsoft has failed to live up to the agreement.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 27, 2014
Who wins in cloud price wars? Short answer: not IT. Enterprises don't want bare-bones IaaS. Providers must focus on support, not undercutting rivals.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Howard Marks talks about steps to take in choosing the right cloud storage solutions for your IT problems
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.