ECIS welcomes the Commission’s decision imposing fines on Microsoft

“ECIS fully supports today’s Decision by the European Commission finding that Microsoft has failed to comply with its legal obligation to end the abuse of its dominant position.

“It is now over two years since the Commission ordered Microsoft to make available complete and accurate interoperability information. This on-going failure to comply is unprecedented in the history of European anti-trust enforcement. No competition authority can or should tolerate such a direct challenge to its authority.

“Microsoft continues to profit in the market from every new day of non-compliance. We see exactly the same pattern of foot-dragging in the implementation of similar disclosure obligations under its U.S. anti-trust settlement. Moreover, Microsoft’s immediate decision to appeal these fines suggests that it will continue to try to impede EU anti-trust enforcement at every possible opportunity.

“The precedent set by this case will be vital for the viability of future software products likewise dependent on full interoperability with Microsoft’s interlocking monopoly systems. The Commission has now made clear that open-ended non-compliance with an order to disclose essential interoperability information will not be tolerated.

“There has never been any doubt about the precise nature and scope of Microsoft’s obligations under the Commission’s March 2004 Decision. Documenting specifications to enable interoperability is common practice in this industry. In fact, Microsoft provides excellent interoperability information in other areas when it suits its business interest.

“It is about time for Microsoft to fully comply with the Commission’s March 2004 Decision. With essential interoperability information, effective competition can be restored to the marketplace, giving consumer interest rightful priority over the business objectives of the dominant supplier.”