Microsoft Appeals "Excessive" European Union Fine

Brad Chacos

Microsoft is kind of like a six-year old in a lot of ways. It likes videogames. It pretty much does what it wants to do. And it definitely doesn't like being punished. The European Commission spanked the software giant with an unprecedented $1.3 billion dollar antitrust fine in 2008 after Microsoft thumbed its nose at the commission and refused to comply with orders to provide information that would help make Windows more accessible to third-party developers.

Microsoft's response? They told Dad what Mom said – or in this case, they filed an appeal with the General Court, the second highest court in the European Union.

Reuters reports that Jean Francois Bellis, Microsoft's lawyer, claimed that the issue wouldn't have escalated this far if the original European Commission directive in 2004 provided clearer direction. Nathan Khan, the Commission's attorney, portrayed Microsoft as a crappy poker player: "This is a case about a gambler who doubled up on a losing bet, lost again and now wants his money back."

Other companies with outstanding fines are watching the case closely, hoping the General Court sets a precedent that would let them wiggle out of their own punishments.

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