• United States
by Elizabeth Montalbano

Microsoft posts response online to EU charges

Feb 23, 20062 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMicrosoftRegulation

In an unexpected move, Microsoft Thursday posted on its Web site its formal response to the European Commission’s Statement of Objections, complaints made in the European Union’s anti-trust case against the company.

The response, filed Feb. 15 in Brussels is as an attempt to avoid hefty fines the Commission is considering against Microsoft.

According to Jack Evans, a Microsoft spokesman, the filing process for the EU anti-trust case has been “a closed process.” Microsoft decided to go public with its confidential filing, with some slight tweaks, because it has concerns about “the transparency of the process” and wanted to make the documents public, he said.

Microsoft has complained that the Commission has failed to consider key information it has submitted and that it has not given the company due process to defend itself in the case.

According to the Web site, Microsoft’s formal response to the Commission shows evidence that the company is “in full compliance” with the technical documentation requirements imposed by the Commission’s antitrust ruling in 2004. It also “details numerous ways in which the Commission had ignored key information and denied Microsoft due process in defending itself,” the company said.

In addition to a 78-page formal response to the Commission’s Statement of Objections, Microsoft also posted a report on its compliance efforts. In addition, the Web site includes reports by independent software system engineering professors that have taken a look at Microsoft’s technical documentation.

The Commission’s Statement of Objections was issued in December 2005.

Microsoft had until Feb. 15 to convince the Commission it is complying with the 2004 ruling, which required the company to ensure interoperability of its server software with competitors, among other things. The Commission has not responded yet to Microsoft’s response.

If the Commission decides Microsoft has not complied with its ruling, the company could face daily fines of up to €2 million ($2.4 million) per day), though the actual fines imposed would likely be less than half of that.