Microsoft Ruling in Europe Major Blow to Tech Giants

Court upholds record fine and order to share codes
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2007 3:32 AM CDT
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates (AP Photo/Andrei Pungovschi)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A European Union appeals court yesterday upheld an anti-trust decision against Microsoft, leaving intact a record $689 million fine and and a challenge to how it does business in Europe, the New York Times reports. The decision has huge repercussions for other tech giants as the European Union seeks to level the playing field.

The original 2004 decision ordered Microsoft to release a version of Windows without Windows Media Player and share server communications codes with competitors. Companies like Apple and Intel will now also likely be bound by the same rules. "If you develop a successful product and get too big, the EU Commission is going to force you to give away your intellectual property," said one observer.