It’s now official. Microsoft has abused its dominant market position in software. It all began in 2004 when the European Commission (EC) found the computer giant guilty of abusing its position in server software and other products, especially the media player, to freeze out rivals. At the point it was order to change its business practises to allow its products to operate with other computer systems by sharing information with other software companies, and levied a fine of $690 million. The company was also ordered to make a version of its Windows OS available without some software like Media Player. Microsoft then appealed to the European Court of First Instance, which handed down its decision this morning. Only one part of the EC ruling was dismissed, a clause which established an independent monitoring trustee to ensure Microsoft followed the new regulations. As part of the decision, Microsoft will have to pay 80% of the EC’s legal costs, while the EC has to pay part of Microsoft’s costs. Last year, Microsoft was ordered to pay daily fines adding up to $380 million over a six-month period for failing to adhere to the 2004 decision.
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