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EU says Microsoft still hasn't supplied data

EU regulators said Wednesday that Microsoft Corp. has still not supplied "complete and accurate interface documentation" to comply with a March 2004 antitrust order and risks further fines unless it takes action by Nov. 23.
/ Source: The Associated Press

EU regulators said Wednesday that Microsoft Corp. has still not supplied "complete and accurate interface documentation" to comply with a March 2004 antitrust order and risks further fines unless it takes action by Nov. 23.

The European Commission fined Microsoft $357 million in July for not supplying technical information that aims to help rivals make server software that works smoothly with Microsoft's desktop operating system Windows.

(MSNBC.com is a Microsoft-NBC Universal joint venture.)

"Progress has been made towards turning the information supplied by Microsoft to date into specifications to be made available to potential licensees for testing," the Commission said.

"The Commission expects the remaining omissions and deficiencies in the technical documentation to be remedied by Nov. 23 so that by the end of November the entire set of technical documentation will be available for potential licensees to review."

Regulators must then decide if Microsoft has finally obeyed its 2004 ruling that found the company had abused its monopoly by deliberately withholding technical data from rivals. That decision would be based on comments from potential licensees and advice from an independent monitor, computer scientist professor Neil Barrett, on whether that information is "operational."

"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 with effect from July 31, 2006," the Commission warned.

In 2004, the EU fined Microsoft a record $613 million and told it to share interoperability information with rivals and put on sale a copy of Windows without Media Player software.

Regulators said Microsoft had committed to and missed a number of deadlines for supplying "complete and accurate specifications," the last on July 19.