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M$ peers decry proposed licensing fees

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Microsoft Corp. was accused by its peers on Friday of trying to wring excessive licensing fees out of its settlement of the EU's landmark antitrust ruling.

In March 2004, the EU Commission fined Microsoft $640 million and compelled it to share technology with competitors that make server software so their products can better communicate with Windows-powered computers.

It was also ordered to produce a Windows version without its multimedia player to provide a more level playing field for competitors such as RealNetworks Inc.

To license all of its server protocols Microsoft now wants developers to pay the company 8.5 percent of their revenues on a new product, according to a fee schedule posted on its website.

But Thomas Vinje, a lawyer for a trade group that includes IBM Corp. and Oracle Corp., argues that Microsoft shouldn't be charging any fees at all.

Associated Press

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