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Microsoft Lodges Formal Complaint Against EU Fine

Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it filed an appeal against a $357 million fine the EU imposed in July for failing to obey an earlier antitrust ruling.

The European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg confirmed it received a faxed copy of the appeal from Microsoft and was waiting for the original to arrive. A spokesman said it was too early to give a date for a hearing or to say whether the case would be handled separately from Microsoft's other legal challenges before the courts.

Microsoft announced it would appeal on July 12, immediately after it was fined for not complying with an EU order to share information with software developers.

The company said it would ask the court to decide if EU regulators were right to claim that it had not supplied "complete and accurate technical specifications" to rivals making software for servers that help computers running Windows, printers and other devices on a network talk to each other.

Microsoft said the "unprecedented" fine was unfair and the EU had not been clear about its demands and how it should present the information.

The July fine was the first time the EU fined a company for not obeying an earlier order.

The appeal is Microsoft's fourth legal challenge in its long-running dispute with the EU, running back to the EU's March 2004 ruling that Microsoft broke antitrust law by abusing its monopoly.

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