Microsoft Appeals European Commission Antitrust Ruling


Asks court to annul or reduce fine, plans to ask for stay on remedies later this month


Microsoft officially appealed the European Commission's historic antitrust ruling against the software giant, asking the court to throw out the decision, quash or cut the hefty fine imposed against the company and suspend a controversial penalty that would require it to ship a stripped-down version of Windows.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company filed its 100-page appeal with the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg on Monday. In the filing, Microsoft asked the court to "annul or substantially reduce" the $600 million-plus fine levied against it for allegedly abusing its monopoly power. The software vendor also announced that later this month it plans to petition the court to issue a stay on other remedies sought in the case, including the EC's order to provide a modified version of Windows.

The EC issued its historic ruling on March 24 after a five-year antitrust case against Microsoft in Europe. As part of the ruling, the EC imposed the fine and a requirement to offer a new version of Windows to the European market within 90 days and more application programming interfaces and protocols to competitors within 120 days.

On Tuesday, Microsoft said it had filed its appeal and urged the court to consider potentially harmful effects on corporate innovation and consumers. "The commission's decision undermines the innovative efforts of successful companies, imposing significant new obligations on successful companies to license their proprietary technology to competitors, and restricts companies' abilities to add innovative improvements to their products," Microsoft EMEA Associate General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement. "The legal standards set by the commission's decision significantly alter incentives for research and development that are important to global economic growth."

Microsoft's appeal is expected to last for several years. Later this month, Microsoft also intends to officially request a stay of the "interim measures or remedies being imposed by the commission's decision" from the European Court of First Instance.