The European Commission (EC) announced Monday morning that Microsoft has made major concessions to antitrust regulators there and is now in compliance with the 2004 European Union (EU) antitrust ruling. Additionally, Microsoft has decided not to appeal September's European Court of First Instance (CFI) appellate ruling.
"We will not appeal the CFI's decision to the European Court of Justice and will continue to work closely with the Commission and the industry to ensure a flourishing and competitive environment for information technology in Europe and around the world," a Microsoft statement reads. "Microsoft will now take the necessary steps to comply with its obligations," an EU statement says.
EU Competition Commissioner, who has been critical of Microsoft's stubbornness during the three year legal ordeal, wasn't quite as sanguine as the official statements, however. "I welcome that Microsoft has finally undertaken concrete steps to ensure full compliance with the 2004 decision," she said Monday. "But it is regrettable that Microsoft has only complied after a considerable delay, two court decisions and the imposition of daily penalty payments."
To finally comply, Microsoft has agreed to substantially reduce the royalties it was seeking for workgroup server interoperability information, a key provision of the EU ruling. Competitors that wish to license the information will pay a royalty of 0.4 percent. Microsoft had previously set the cost at 5.95 percent. The software giant will also guarantee the "completeness and accuracy of the information provided," the EU says.
"It is a victory day for the consumer," Kroes added. "As of today, the major issues concerning compliance have been resolved.