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Microsoft Appeals EU Decision

Microsoft this week formally delivered the appeal the company promised in March when the European Commission ruled against Microsoft in its five-year-old antitrust investigation.

The commission, the enforcement arm of the European Union, ordered Microsoft to pay a record $613 million fine, offer a version of Windows that does not include the Windows Media Player and disclose to competitors the interfaces required to communicate with Windows.

Microsoft's appeal comes weeks before the expiration of a 90-day deadline in the ruling to release the Media Player-free version of Windows to PC manufacturers. The appeal and a request for a stay of the rulings requirements was filed with the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg.

In a statement about the Microsoft appeal, Microsoft attorney Horacio Gutierrez contended that the Commission's ruling was not in the interest of consumers or European companies. "The legal standards set by the Commission's Decision significantly alter incentives for research and development that are important to global economic growth," Gutierrez said.

European Commissioner for competition Mario Monti argued that the ruling will stand. He said the ruling was the most solid decision in EU history.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.