No Appeal on EU Ruling Against Stay
- By Scott Bekker
Microsoft's broad appeal of European Commission antitrust measures will continue, but the company has given up on an effort to put off the remedies until all appeals are exhausted a few years from now.
After a five-year investigation, the European Commission, the enforcement arm of the European Union, found Microsoft in violation of European antitrust law last year. The commission ordered Microsoft to pay a 497 million Euro fine, sell a version of Windows without Windows Media Player and provide communications protocols to competitors.
Microsoft paid the fine promptly, but appealed the other two provisions of the EC ruling. In addition to the general appeal, Microsoft's lawyers also argued in a separate proceeding for a stay of the EC decision to avoid producing the new unbundled version of Windows and providing the communication protocols until appeals courts ruled on the full appeal.
The European Court of First Instance recently rejected Microsoft's request for a stay. Microsoft said this week it will not appeal the rejection of the stay. The company has now made licensing information available for the communications protocols and has given computer manufacturers Windows without the media player. The company also says it will make the version available through retail channels.
Earlier Microsoft officials said they would probably sell the version of Windows without the media player for the same price as the full version and said they will not offer the unbundled version outside of Europe.
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.