The EU Strikes Back: Microsoft Still Hasn't Complied

On Wednesday, European Union (EU) antitrust regulators complained that Microsoft still hasn't complied with the 2004 antitrust ruling against the company and warned that new fines could be assessed. The European Commission (EC) has given Microsoft until November 23, 2006 to produce the complete and accurate technical server documentation it requested.

Microsoft claims to have made significant progress toward providing regulators with the documentation they require. However, the EU insists that Microsoft's efforts aren't sufficient.

"I am not impressed if someone says 90 percent of the information is already there when we need 100 percent," European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes, said this week. "It's a jigsaw puzzle and some parts are missing."

"Our patience is finite," an EU spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. "Until we have the whole set of documents it's worth nothing."

According to the EU, the documentation Microsoft has supplied so far is both incomplete and inaccurate. The EU plans to send the documentation to Microsoft's competitors for further review once it has received all the documents it requested from Microsoft. The remaining omissions and deficiencies in the technical documentation are to be remedied by November 23, or the EU spokesperson said, so that Microsoft's rivals can review it by the end of November.

The EU will determine whether Microsoft has finally complied with the 2004 antitrust ruling based on feedback from Microsoft's rivals.

"Should Microsoft continue to fail to comply the amount of the daily penalty payment to which Microsoft could be subject would be increased from up to $2.56 million to up to $3.85 million per day effective from July 31, 2006," the EU spokesperson warned.