The European Union's executive arm said May 23 that Microsoft has a week to comply with a 2004 antitrust ruling, failing which the U.S. software giant faces hefty fines. EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes has "warned Microsoft that they have until the end of the month to tell us definitively what measures they will take to comply" with the ruling, her spokesman Jonathan Todd said." If it is not satisfied, the commission will activate procedures for imposing daily fines" on the group, he added.
In March 2004, the commission, which polices antitrust issues in the EU, fined the software group a record 497 million euros ($623 million) for abusing its dominant market position. The commission also called on Microsoft to market a version of its leading operating system Windows without bundling it to its software Media Player and required the company to divulge information about its product operating system needed by manufacturers of competing products.
Under EU rules, a company that fails to comply with a commission competition ruling could in theory be fined up to 5% of its daily global turnover per day for each day the ruling is not respected.