Microsoft appeals against record EU anti-trust fine

BRUSSELS, May 9, 2008 (AFP) – Microsoft on Friday lodged an appeal at a European court against a record 899 million euro (1.39 billion dollar) fine imposed on it by the EU Commission for defying a landmark anti-trust ruling. “Microsoft today filed with the Court of First Instance an application to annul the Commission decision of February 27,” the spokesman for the US software giant said in Brussels.

“We are filing this appeal in a constructive effort to seek clarity from the court,” in Luxembourg, he added.

A European Commission spokesman voiced confidence that the grounds for the fine were sound.

“The Commission is confident that the decision to impose the fine is legally founded,” said Jonathan Todd, spokesman for EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

EU competition regulators imposed the record fine in February after deeming that the US software giant had defied a 2004 ruling.

After a five-year investigation, the commission had ruled then that Microsoft abused its share of the market for operating systems running personal computers thanks to its ubiquitous Windows programme.

Microsoft fought the decision tooth-and-nail until last September when an EU court threw out the company’s appeal