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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 June, 2005, 08:59 GMT 09:59 UK
Microsoft meets Brussels deadline
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft has been ordered to open its core software systems to rivals
US software giant Microsoft has met a 1 June deadline for responding to a landmark European Union antitrust ruling against the company.

"We have submitted proposals and we are awaiting a response from the EU Commission," a spokesman said.

In 2004, Brussels found Microsoft guilty of abusing its market dominance and fined it 497m euros ($655m; 340m).

If the Commission considers Microsoft's response to have fallen short, it could hit the firm with daily fines of $5m.

A spokesman said it could take "a few weeks" to come to a decision.

EU scrutiny

MICROSOFT'S EU TUSSLE
March 2004: EU hits Microsoft with record 497m euro fine; orders the firm to open up its core software systems to rivals and produce a stripped down version of Windows
December 2004: European Court of First Instance rejects an appeal by Microsoft
January 2005: Microsoft backs down from further EU appeal court action
March 2005: EU warns that Microsoft is doing too little to comply with antitrust rulings
May 2005: EU hits Microsoft with 1 June deadline to submit a response to rulings
1 June: Microsoft meets deadline.

"Contacts continued between the European Commission and Microsoft until late last night, and the Commission will now carefully analyse what's on the table," a spokesman for the Commission said.

EU regulators would now assess "whether or not we consider that Microsoft has complied with the March 2004 decision", he said.

The 2004 ruling focused on Microsoft's behaviour in two key markets: servers, the computers which sit at the heart of networks, and media software.

The European Commission told Microsoft that it would have to open up its core software systems to rivals, making it easier for them to build products which would work with its Windows operating system.

It also ordered Microsoft to provide a version of Windows without its own Windows Media Player, to give rival software makers a chance to compete and computer makers the option to supply PCs with the media software of their own choosing.

Final plan

The Commission has the power to fine Microsoft up to 5% of its daily global turnover for each day that the antitrust ruling is not applied to its satisfaction.

The 1 June deadline was set for Microsoft to submit a final plan on how it would comply with the ruling.

If unhappy with the initial response, the Commission would have to send a formal notification to Microsoft, giving the company about 10 working days to respond.

On Tuesday, a Commission spokesman said antitrust regulators would probably make a decision on whether or not to hit Microsoft with fines by the end of July.



SEE ALSO:
Microsoft approaches EU deadline
31 May 05 |  Business
EU hits Microsoft with a deadline
23 May 05 |  Business
EU warns Microsoft of extra fines
27 Apr 05 |  Business
Microsoft and EU reach agreement
28 Mar 05 |  Business
Microsoft in EU compliance battle
23 Mar 05 |  Business
EU warns on Microsoft behaviour
18 Mar 05 |  Business


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