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Microsoft Faces EU Fines, Korea Sanctions

It’s not shaping up to be a great week for Microsoft overseas, as long-simmering antitrust actions against the Redmond software giant threaten to come to a boil.

First, European Union antitrust regulators have unanimously found that Microsoft is not complying with the EU’s 2004 antitrust settlement with the company. This is the first step before announcing penalties against the company: regulators first have to agree on the principles of the violation, then meet again to determine a penalty. Microsoft has repeatedly disputed the EU’s antitrust process, claiming the EU continually “moves the goalposts” in its antitrust requirements and asserting the company’s actions have not hindered consumer choice. Microsoft has even tried to sweeten the pot by offering source code licensing to key elements of Microsoft server software products.

European regulators, however, are apparently not impressed, and will re-convene next week to determine the penalty to be assessed against Microsoft. In December 2005, the European Commission voted to assess a