If you feel like you've already read this story, you're forgiven.
Antitrust regulators from the European Union (EU) said late last week
that Microsoft has continued to resist complying with the antitrust
ruling that the EU handed down to the software giant in 2004. And, in
another moment of déjà vu, the EU once again warned Microsoft that its
continued noncompliance could result in hefty daily fines.
On Friday, the EU's European Commission (EC) sent a formal letter to
Microsoft warning the company that it was still out of compliance.
Microsoft has argued strenuously that it had exceeded the requirements
of its antitrust compliance and also chastised the EC for its criticism
of Microsoft's technical documentation. You may recall that Microsoft
was required to supply technical documentation for its server products
to competitors that chose to license the information. The EC's
technical expert found the documentation to be "unusable."
Microsoft's petulance over the documentation issue earned the company a
public rebuke last week. The EC stood behind its technical expert and
noted in a statement late last week that even Microsoft's latest
technical documentation version "continues to be incomplete,
inaccurate, and unusable." To prove its point, the EC had intellectual
property valuation and reverse engineering firm Taeus review the
documentation as well. Taeus reported that the documentation was
"written primarily to maximize \[page count\] while minimizing useful
In other words, not much has changed over the past few months.
Microsoft is still officially not complying with its EU antitrust
requirements. The company is still denying that it's not complying, and
it's still facing the possibility of daily fines in excess of $2
million, backdated to December 15, 2005. Around and around we go.