EU ‘may increase fines on Microsoft’

Fines imposed on Microsoft by the European Commission, may be raised to €3 million a day, if the company does not comply with the remedied imposed. After over two years of apparent foot dragging by Microsoft as it spins out the legal process as long as possible, the Commission is nearing the end of its patience.

An anonymous EU source has told the Reuters news agency that the Commission may increase the proposed €2 million a day penalty if Microsoft fails to comply with the European demands. Among the remedies imposed is a requirement to provide adequate documentation that would allow competitors to write application software for Windows Server 2003 on an equal footing with Microsoft’s own software developers.

The move, credited to an un-named source, is the latest in a game of poker between the EU and Microsoft with the stakes rising increasingly higher.

In March 2004, Microsoft was fined a record €495 million and ordered to open up Windows to competition. Since then, Microsoft has been accused of providing documentation which is ‘entirely inadequate’, and ‘devoted to obsolete functionality’

The European Commission plans to hold a debate next Wednesday on proposed sanctions against Microsoft as part of its regular meeting.

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