Microsoft Hit With Record EU Fine

The European Commission fined Microsoft a record US $613 million after it found the company abused its “virtual monopoly” with its Windows operating system and broke European antitrust law governing competition.

EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti said the EU found that Microsoft “has abused its virtual monopoly power over the PC desktop in Europe. This is not a decision we have taken easily or hastily.”

Monti said the EU’s decision “is about protecting consumer choice and stimulating innovation.”

In addition to the fines, the EU said Microsoft has 90 days to unbundle its Windows Media Player software from its operating system for PC makers. It also ruled that the company has 120 days in which to release server system code to other companies so that other software providers can interoperate with computers that run the Windows operating system.

In a statement, Microsoft said its proposed settlement, which the EU rejected, would have been better for European consumers and it would appeal.

See Erin Joyce’s complete story on Analysis of the decision can be found here and here.

What do you think, was is this decision a fair one? Want to discuss it or just vent? Take it over to our IT Management Forum.