Microsoft Granted Minor Relief for Massive Antitrust Fine in Europe

Paul Lilly

In the grand scheme of things, there aren't many companies that can afford to cut checks for billion-dollar fines. Microsoft is one of them, but that doesn't mean it will go about it willingly. Even for Microsoft, $1.3 billion, which is roughly the amount the European Union (EU) penalized the software giant for in 2008 when it imposed a fine of 899 million euros for antitrust shenanigans, is a lot of money. Following an appeal, Microsoft won't have to pay quite as much, but it does still owe the bulk of the original fine.

The EU's second-highest court saw fit to trim Microsoft's antitrust fine by 4.3 percent to 860 million euros, the Financial Times reports . That works out to about $1.07 billion today, and remains one of the biggest fines ever handed out by the EU. In a statement to the press, EU's General Court said it "essentially upholds the Commission's decision imposing a periodic penalty payment on Microsoft," even though it reduced the fine.

Naturally, Microsoft was "disappointed with the court's ruling," though it didn't say whether or not another appeal is order. Should Microsoft settle the matter and make payment in full, it would put an end to any outstanding disagreements it has with the EU, having already settled a dispute in 2009 related to Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows.

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