Microsoft backs down and pays EU fines

Microsoft is set to become almost USD 1 bn poorer after they pulled the plug on their long fought battle with the European Commission.

The near decade-long feud is finally over after Microsoft agreed to withdrawn the last challenges to an EU antitrust Order.

The maker of Windows and Office agreed to comply with critical aspects of a 2004 antitrust decision and bite the bullet.

Microsoft will pay fines imposed by the European commission and allow rivals like IBM, Novell, Oracle, Redhat, Sun Microsystems and open source developers to introduce software solutions that are fully compatible with Microsoft's own Operating Systems (like Windows Server or Windows Vista).

The firm will also only charge a fixed one-time fee of Eur 10,000 to any companies that would like to access these inter-operability information rather than royalties and a share of their revenues.

Although this case is now closed, the European Commission has reiterated its will to make sure that Microsoft will cooperate more with rivals and competitors in the future.