Microsoft Offers EU Concessions

In a bid to avoid fines of roughly $2 million a day, Microsoft on
Wednesday agreed to take further steps to comply with the European
Union (EU) antitrust sanctions. Specifically, the company is offering
to provide free unlimited support to any of its competitors that
license the server technology documentation, which the EU forced
Microsoft to provide.

"In addition to unlimited technical support, Microsoft is further
augmenting the program by offering on-site assistance to licensees," a
Microsoft statement reads. Antitrust regulators at the European
Commission (EC) reacted favorably to the news, though they also noted
that Microsoft had failed to alert them to the change before announcing
it publicly.

The EC also noted that this change might not be enough to bring
Microsoft into compliance. Previously, the EC had complained that the
documentation Microsoft provided was essentially useless. "Technical
support is only helpful once the documentation has reached a certain
quality standard," an EC spokesperson said. "The Commission's
preliminary view is that the technical documentation still does not
comply with the requirements of the decision."

Microsoft pledged to meet the EU's requirements. "We will leave no
stone unturned to overcome the compliance impasse," Microsoft General
Counsel Horacio Gutierrez said.

TAGS: Windows 8
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