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Microsoft Criticizes EU Regulators

From Bloomberg News

Microsoft Corp. accused European Union regulators Wednesday of failing to let the company defend itself against allegations that may lead to daily antitrust fines of as much as $2.4 million.

The European Commission in Brussels “has disregarded evidence and denied due process,” Microsoft said in an e-mail statement. The world’s largest software maker filed a 75-page response to accusations that it has failed to comply with a 2004 antitrust order.

The commission warned the Redmond, Wash.-based company in December that it would be fined unless it provided information to help competitors develop network software that can communicate with the Windows operating system.

Microsoft reiterated Wednesday that it would obey that order by licensing the source code, or programming instructions, for Windows.

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The commission said it was market-testing a draft of that source code license. But “source code is not necessarily a solution to respond to Microsoft’s failure to provide complete and accurate specifications” required by the 2004 order, the commission said.

Following Microsoft’s response to European regulators, the commission said it would hold a hearing. The regulator may then draft a decision, which will be discussed at a meeting of EU member governments and other interested parties. This process may last three to four months.

Shares of Microsoft rose 23 cents Wednesday to $26.88.


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