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Competition: state of play on Microsoft’s compliance with March 2004 Decision
Commission Européenne - MEMO/06/430 15/11/2006
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Brussels, 15th November 2006
Microsoft submitted a revised set of technical documentation on 19th July 2006, as agreed with the European Commission, with a view to meeting the requirements of the Commission’s March 2004 Decision (see IP/04/382) requiring Microsoft to disclose complete and accurate interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers.
Since then, in order to check whether the omissions and deficiencies in the technical documentation previously identified have been addressed, the Commission has been reviewing the completeness and accuracy of the technical documentation submitted and working with Microsoft on necessary revisions with the assistance of the Monitoring Trustee Professor Neil Barrett appointed to work monitor Microsoft’s compliance with the March 2004 Decision and advising the Commission on that compliance (see MEMO/06/119).
As of today, the Commission has not received the complete documentation regarding all relevant protocols that is required to comply with its March 2004 Decision. This being said, progress has been made towards turning the information supplied by Microsoft to date into specifications to be made available to potential licensees for testing. The Commission expects the remaining omissions and deficiencies in the technical documentation to be remedied by 23rd November so that by the end of November the entire set of technical documentation will be available for potential licensees to review.
The Commission will decide in due course whether or not the technical documentation is in full compliance with the requirements of the March 2004 Decision taking into account comments from the potential licensees and advice from the Trustee on whether the technical documentation is operational.
The Commission recalls that Microsoft was ordered by the March 2004 Decision to supply the relevant complete and accurate interface documentation within four months of the Decision (i.e. July 2004). Microsoft subsequently committed to and missed a number of deadlines for delivering complete and accurate specifications, the last on 19th July 2006.
On 12th July 2006, the European Commission imposed a penalty payment of €280.5 million on Microsoft for its continued non-compliance with some of its obligations under the Commission’s March 2004 Decision (see IP/06/979). The Commission also decided on 12th July 2006 that should Microsoft continue to fail to comply, the amount of the daily penalty payment to which Microsoft could be subject would be increased from up to €2 million to up to €3 million per day with effect from 31st July 2006.