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Microsoft fails to get £576m EU fine scrapped – but wins tiny discount

ZDNet - The fine, which the software giant has already paid, now stands at €860m (£719m) rather than €899m, the General Court of the European Union said on Wednesday. It was levied on Microsoft for failing to comply with a ruling in 2004 by the European Commission, which found the company had been unfairly denying open-source competitors the protocols they needed to make their server software interoperable with Windows.

"Although the General Court [of the EU] slightly reduced the fine, we are disappointed with the Court's ruling," Microsoft said in a statement on Wednesday, shortly after the decision (PDF) came through.

When it made its ruling in 2004, the European Commission levied a €497m fine on Microsoft. It then added a €280.5m fine in 2006 because the software giant was still not meeting the terms of the antitrust decision. Microsoft appealed, but failed to prevail in a judgement in 2007.

That was followed by yet another fine in 2008, this time a record-setting €899m, because the company was still not sharing the interoperability information it was required to on 'reasonable and non-discriminatory' (RAND) terms. That fine covered the period from 21 June, 2006 to 21 October, 2007. Microsoft launched a fresh appeal a year ago.