Earlier this month, the European Commission slapped Microsoft with a fine of over $357 million for breaching a 2004 antitrust agreement; the EC further threatened to fine the company up to €3 million a day unless the company came into compliance by July 31, 2006 by providing complete and accurate documentation enabling third parties to interoperate with its server products.
Why, look at the calendar! As of today, Microsoft submitted more than 2,600 new documents to the European Commission in a bid to avoid further fines. According to Microsoft, the documents represent the company’s "ongoing commitment to reaching full compliance with the Commission’s decision of March 2004." For its part, the EC has only said that it has received the files, and that both the EC and the case’s independent monitoring trustee, British professor Neil Barrett, were examining the contents. At a news briefing, EC spokesperson Michael Mann said "It’s too early at this stage to give any indication of whether there will be another payment, another penalty, and if there is to be another penalty, how much it would be."
Microsoft has appealed essentially every finding against it made by the European Commission, including the most recent finding of non-compliance, ensuring that even if the Commission puts its stamp of approval on Microsoft’s most recent documentation delivery, the antitrust process is far from over.
In March, 2004, the European Commission fined Microsoft €497 million for abusing its position in the European market place, particularly in the areas of instance messaging, media players, and server software.