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EU Fields Windows Vista Antitrust Concerns

No formal complaints have been filed about Vista, but the European Commission is monitoring the situation, a spokesman says.
"An oral hearing would be scheduled within several weeks of Microsoft requesting one in writing," said Todd. That request would have to come by the Feb. 15 deadline.

The EC has said it would backdate the fines to Dec. 15 if Microsoft exhausts its legal appeals. As of Monday, the tally would be 122 million euros ($145.4 million).

In January, Microsoft tried to appease the EC by offering to license the source code for parts of the Windows Server operating system, saying at the time that the code was "the ultimate documentation" for the communication protocols covered by the antitrust decision. The EC's December failure-to-comply filing said that Microsoft had not met the ruling's requirements in providing technical documentation that rivals could use to write competing server software and applications.

"We're not sure that the source code] has any relevance," said Todd, the EC spokesman, on Monday. "The onus is on Microsoft to explain how and why this disclosure answers the Objection. They have to explain if they want us to take that into account."

Todd expects that Microsoft will proffer such an explanation when it presents its written rebuttal on Wednesday.

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