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EU Accuses Microsoft of Trying to Monopolize European Markets - 2003-08-06


The European Commission has accused computer company Microsoft of attempting to monopolize European markets for some computer software. It says the U.S. firm could face fines.

The commission says information gathered from businesses in Europe and the United States shows that Microsoft continues to abuse its dominant position in the market, and gave the company one last chance to clear itself or face penalties.

The commission accuses Microsoft of hurting competition in the market for low-end servers, which tie computers together. It also says that Microsoft is competing unfairly by putting its Media Player into its Windows product.

The European Union's Competition Commissioner, Mario Monti, says a statement of objections sent to Microsoft gives the company a last opportunity to comment before the commission concludes the case.

The statement suggests remedies including an additional code Microsoft would have to give to competitors in the low-end server market to ensure universal access. Microsoft would also have to offer a Windows version without a Media Player or agree to carry rival players in the Windows software.

Commission spokesman Tilman Lueder says Microsoft may face fines. However, Microsoft has previously said that its 2002 settlement with U.S. authorities, along with other voluntary steps answer the charges in Europe.

European Commissioner Monti says he is determined to ensure that the final outcome of the case benefits innovation and consumers alike.