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Microsoft is Not Complying with Antitrust Ruling

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13 months after the European Union (EU) issued its antitrust ruling against Microsoft, the software giant has yet to comply with two of the three requirements of the ruling, and the EU is crying foul. Microsoft was to have shipped a version of Windows XP that does not include Windows Media Player and provided competitors with server-oriented technical information. Neither has happened, and now the EU wants a progress report.

Last month, EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes wrote a letter to Microsoft, asking for that progress report. Two days after that report was due, the EU is still wating. And sources have described Kroes' demeanor as "impatient." "The deadline was April 11 and they have not respected it," an EU spokesperson said.

Back at Microsoft, a representative for the company said that talks with the EU are "ongoing" and that the release of the overdue progress report was "imminent." Hopefully, that's imminent as in Tax Day and not imminent as in Longhorn.

In addition to the overdue antitrust ruling requirements, the EU would also like to resolve another issue with Microsoft: Basically, the EU would like to appoint a trustee that would have blanket powers to examine whether the software giant is adhering to its antitrust ruling going forward. Microsoft, however, want to have veto powers over which information the trustee could gather. The EU has termed that request as "unacceptable." Kroes simply re-sent the original request and asked again that Microsoft accept the terms. This requirement, allegedly, is also holding up Microsoft's progress report.


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