Mumbai: Software giant Microsoft Corporation
has ended three years of resistance and agreed to comply with the EU Commission''s
2004 anti-trust ruling that it was abusing its dominant market position.
months ago a European court confirmed the EC''s finding that Microsoft had used
its Windows personal computer operating system to crush rivals in related markets.
The court also backed the imposition of a record 497 million euros ($690
million) fine on Microsoft.
Microsoft said it would not appeal against the
court ruling and agreed to make "substantial changes" to comply with
the EC ruling.
As per the ruling, Microsoft will have to reduce royalties
payable for interoperability information on its Windows computer programme to
a "nominal" one-off payment of 10,000 euros ($14,000) for rival firms.
The royalties for a worldwide licence, including patents, will be reduced
from the current 5.95 per cent to 0.4 per cent, the EC announced.
EC has ensured that Microsoft will now take the necessary steps to comply with
its obligations... regarding work group server operating systems," including
making interoperability information available to rival software companies, the
EC said in a statement.
Software developers "will be able to access
and use the interoperability information," competition commissioner Neelie
"In these agreements between third party developers and
Microsoft, Microsoft will guarantee the completeness and accuracy of the information
provided," the statement said, adding that the agreements will be enforceable
in the London High Court, along with the EC''s own enforcement powers.
is a big blow to Microsoft''s Widows-based business strategy, which made the company
one of the biggest and most profitable enterprises in the world.