Microsoft has still not complied with 2004 ruling, says Commission

Microsoft has still not supplied the European Commission with complete documentation it was asked for to comply with a 2004 antitrust order, the Commission has said. The Commission said it will decide at a later date if Microsoft has breached that order.

Microsoft was ordered in 2004 to supply "complete and accurate" documentation which would allow other technology companies to write software which worked on PCs and servers running Microsoft Windows. It was also fined €497 million. Microsoft has agreed and missed a number of deadlines for the provision of that information, the Commission said.

"The Commission recalls that Microsoft was ordered by the March 2004 Decision to supply the relevant complete and accurate interface documentation within four months of the Decision (i.e. July 2004)," said a Commission statement. "Microsoft subsequently committed to and missed a number of deadlines for delivering complete and accurate specifications, the last on 19th July 2006."

The Commission levied a further €280.5 million fine on Microsoft for that delay and said that the penalty for continued non-compliance would rise on 30th July from €2 million to €3 million a day.

Microsoft has said that it is prepared to give the Commission the remaining information. "We stand ready to do any additional work that is required to comply with the Commission's decision,'' said a Microsoft statement.

Once processed, the documentation will be turned over to Microsoft's rivals who will decide whether or not it represents sufficient information for interoperability with Microsoft software.

The Commission said that it wants the remaining information to be provided by 23rd November so that other technology companies can review the material by the end of November to determine whether or not it is sufficient.

Professor Neil Barrett is the Commission's 'monitoring trustee', and is helping the Commission to interpret the information and monitor Microsoft's compliance with the Commission's rulings.