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Date Issue Title
24th Mar 2004 Other Issue Microsoft hit by record EU fine

Report
Software giant Microsoft must pay a fine of 497m euros ($613m; 331m) for abusing its dominant market position, the European Commission has ordered.

Competition Commissioner Mario Monti also insisted Microsoft must reveal secrets of its Windows software, which sits on 90% of the world's PCs.

The European Commission approved Microsoft's punishment on Wednesday.

Microsoft has already said it will appeal, kicking off a legal battle that could last years.

Mr Monti said he was confident "that we have produced here a decision that will stand before any appeal".

Microsoft has a cash pile of more than $50bn, so even a fine on this scale - a record for the EU in an antitrust case - is unlikely to hurt it commercially.

In fact, the company's shares climbed 0.6% to $24.29 in New York during early trading.

Industry experts say that the non-financial penalties are likely to hurt Microsoft more by opening it to further challenges and altering the regulatory environment it operates in.

Mr Monti has ordered Microsoft to reveal details of its Windows software codes within 120 days, to make it easier for rivals to design compatible products.

Microsoft must offer a stripped-down version of its Windows operating system minus the firm's MediaPlayer audiovisual software within 90 days.

Microsoft will still be allowed to sell Windows with Media Player bundled in.

Rivals including Realnetworks welcomed the move, saying that at long last the playing field had been levelled.

The five-year-old EU case was launched after complaints from rival makers of audiovisual software that Microsoft was protecting its own media player and squeezing out others.

Mr Monti said Brussels' decision did not break new legal ground in either Europe or the US, nor did it expropriate Microsoft's intellectual property.

Microsoft claims that it should not be fined at all because it did not know its behaviour would breach EU law.

Other Reports on Microsoft Corporation
Date Issue Company Report
10th Jun 2011 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft must pay $290m for patent infringement
27th Feb 2008 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation EU fines Microsoft record $1.4bn
22nd Sep 2007 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft loses anti-trust appeal
19th Sep 2006 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft accused over Vista row
12th Jul 2006 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft hit with 280m euro fine
18th Apr 2006 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft loses out again in EU row
10th Mar 2006 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft faces new fines threat
26th Jan 2006 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft may still face EU fine
22nd Dec 2005 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft may face daily EU fine
7th Dec 2005 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation South Korea fines Microsoft $32m
1st Jul 2005 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft pays out $775m to IBM
15th Jun 2005 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft helps China to censor bloggers
18th Mar 2005 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation EU warns on Microsoft behaviour
28th Jun 2004 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft settles anti-trust case
13th Apr 2004 Other Issue Microsoft Corporation Microsoft settles patents case
19th Mar 2004 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft facing EU fines
27th Jan 2004 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation EU Anti Competition Investigation
15th Dec 2003 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft abandons older Windows
8th Jul 2003 Questionable Practice Microsoft Corporation Microsoft faces new probe

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