Microsoft hit with $1.35 Billion Antitrust Fine

Just days after Microsoft vowed to make it easier for competitors to build products for the Windows operating system, the European Union slapped the software company with a record $1.35 billion antitrust fine today.

The European Commission said it imposed the fine after a full evaluation that Microsoft isn’t living up to the terms of the 2004 antitrust ruling.

The EC determined that the company was still engaging in anti-competitive behavior. The commission alleges that Microsoft is overcharging rivals for the documentation they need to make their server products interoperable with Windows-based PCs and servers. The decision was upheld last year by Europe’s second highest court.

Microsoft has been asked by the EC to currently make its technical documentation available to rivals under the current terms and conditions. Furthermore, they asked the software maker to make its technologies to be more interoperable with third-party products.

“Microsoft was the first company in 50 years of EU competition policy that the Commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an antitrust decision,” said EC competition commissioner Neelie Kroes.

The fine is in addition to the more than $1 billion in penalties that the EC originally imposed on Microsoft following the 2004 ruling.