M$ antitrust decision will have to wait for autumn

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Microsoft

The European Commission will not make a decision on whether Microsoft has complied with its antitrust ruling until after the summer, according to an EC spokesman.

The spokesman said the market test of Microsoft's proposed server interoperability licence has been completed and the EC is now analysing the results. As many civil servants are on leave in August, no decision will be taken until September at the earliest, according to the spokesman. He was unable to say when exactly the verdict was due.

The market test, which started last month, allowed Microsoft's competitors to evaluate the "innovative character of the protocols" and check whether the royalties Microsoft proposes to charge are "reasonable".

If Microsoft passes the market test, no further action will be taken by the EC. But if the company's proposed licence is found to be unsatisfactory, the EC will go back to the software giant and try to resolve these issues, the spokesman said.

This is already the second version of the server interoperability license - the original version was rejected in March by the EC for a number of reasons, including its unjustifiably high royalty fees and its exclusion of open source vendors.

In its latest offer, Microsoft agreed to provide some server interoperability information free of charge but these royalty-free concessions have been labelled "pointless" by a firm involved in the market test. The firm, an open source consultancy, claimed that the information is already available on the internet, is incomplete and in some cases even incorrect.

Source.