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EU Court Holds the Antitrust Line Against Microsoft, But May Not Have Stemmed its Dominance Tide

“In what the New York Times is calling a ‘stinging rebuke,’ the
European Court of First Instance issued a much-awaited judgment at
9:30 AM today in Brussels, Belgium, affirming almost all of the
March 23, 2004 holdings by the European Commission that Microsoft
had abused its dominant position to further expand its market
share. The Court also affirmed the remedies against Microsoft,
including fines of approximately US $1 billion. Only those parts of
the original decision that would appointed a trustee to monitor
Microsoft’s compliance with the EU’s orders were rejected, as
exceeding the powers of the Commission. But while the victory is a
significant one for the European Commission, how great a defeat is
this in fact for Microsoft? Perhaps less than first meets the eye,
on which more below.

“Today’s decision is but the latest event in an almost 10 year
history of investigations, trials, appeals, and new allegations
that initially focused only on Microsoft’s activities involving
server software, but eventually grew to involve allegations of
abuses in the office software marketplace as well…”


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