The European commission today threatened to impose daily fines of €2m on Microsoft unless the software giant complied fully with a landmark anti-trust decision.
In an escalation of a longstanding dispute, the commission said Microsoft would have to pay the fines – backdated to December 15 – unless it met conditions laid out in last year’s ruling.
The former EU competition commissioner, Mario Monti, fined the group founded by Bill Gates 30 years ago a record €497m in March 2004 for abusing its monopoly position.
His successor, Neelie Kroes, is now investigating further complaints about the group’s activities.
“I have given Microsoft every opportunity to comply with its obligations,” Ms Kroes said in a statement. “However, I have been left with no alternative other than to proceed via the formal route to ensure Microsoft’s compliance.”
In the 2004 ruling, the commission found Microsoft guilty of abusing its power and ordered it to disclose information to rivals so they could manufacture computers and accessories such as printers that could operate smoothly with the Windows operating software.