EU General Court reduces Commission fine on Microsoft by 4 per cent – Press statement

Statement regarding EU General Court case T-167/08:

Brussels, 27 June 2012 – “The European Committee for Interoperable Systems is pleased that the court essentially upheld the Commission’s actions regarding Microsoft, making only a 4 percent adjustment in the fine,” said ECIS spokesman Thomas Vinje.

“Of course, today’s decision in no way changes the remedies or fine which the European Commission imposed on Microsoft eight years ago, when it found that Microsoft illegally used its monopoly power to squelch competition,” he said.

“Nor does it change the requirement that Microsoft provide interoperability information on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis (FRAND),” Vinje said.


“The decision today makes a minor adjustment for one of two monetary penalties imposed on Microsoft for its delays.  Microsoft had delayed its compliance with remedies which the Commission imposed with the aim of restoring competition,” Vinje said.

When then-Commissioner Neelie Kroes announced the first fine for non-compliance on 12 July 2006, she said that it was unprecedented for a company to defy the Commission’s imposition of remedies, but that Microsoft had done so for more than six months (exact dates in the timeline below).

“This is the first time ever, in the 49-year history of the European Union, that the Commission has had to fine a company for failure to comply with an anti-trust decision. I hope that it is also the last”, Kroes said.   It is that second fine which the General Court made a minor adjustment today.“The Commission ultimately succeeded in compelling Microsoft to make interoperability information available. That decision, which promotes competition in the market for work group servers, has been upheld by the EU judiciary,” Vinje said. 

Unfortunately, Microsoft continued to defy the Commission for another 16 months and Kroes had to impose a second penalty for non-compliance, on 27 February 2008.  

Contact: David Lawsky, +322 613 2824. Mobile: +32 472 91 47 48,

For more information, please access the full press statement available here.