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Massive fines from EU may also be a warning to Microsoft

July 13, 2006

Mark Ostrau, co-chair of Fenwick & West's Antitrust and Unfair Competition Group, was quoted in a Seattle Times article titled "Massive fines from EU may also be a warning to Microsoft."

Regulators are concerned that Microsoft, currently facing an antitrust action before the European Union for refusing to provide technical details of its Windows operating system to competitors, may get into trouble again with its new operating system, Windows Vista. Microsoft has been fined an additional $357 million since the original $613 million order to share its data in March 2004. The software giant also faces penalties of $3.82 million per day starting in July 31.

Ostrau says the fines are a warning that it would be in Microsoft's best interest to comply with the EU's orders immediately and on future software releases.

"In some ways these fines are only partially about complying with the [...] prior case, and half about sending a message to Microsoft that the European Commission is not going away," he said.

The full article is available through the Seattle Times website.