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EU hits Microsoft with €280.5 mln fine

The fine covers the period to June 20 and was computed by multiplying 187 days of violations at €1.5 million per day. "Microsoft has still not put an end to its illegal conduct. I have no alternative but to levy penalty payments for this continued noncompliance," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement. The fine fell short of a possible maximum €2 million per day. If Microsoft fails to comply with the Commission ruling by July 31, it would face a maximum possible fine of €3 million per day. Microsoft says it has made huge efforts to comply with the Commission's 2004 ruling and has 300 people working to meet the EU executive's requirements by July 18. It calls the fine unjustified, but says that will not slow its effort to comply. European regulators two years ago hit Microsoft with a record fine of €497 million ($613 million) in its initial antitrust ruling. Microsoft has paid that fine. At this occasion the Comission accused Microsoft with witholding vital information from its competitors and thus making them unable to make their software run as smoothly on Windows operating system as on its own server software does. (CNET)