Microsoft gets set to file EU appeal

The software powerhouse next week plans to make its formal appeal of a European antitrust ruling that includes a massive fine and constraints on Microsoft's business practices.

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By Ina Fried

Microsoft plans to file next week its formal appeal of a European Union ruling that the software giant violated antitrust law and should be fined and made to curtail its business practices.

As soon as the ruling was announced in March, Microsoft had vowed to appeal it. The EU a record 497 million euros ($607 million) and also ordered it to offer a version of Windows without a bundled media player. The EU also ordered the company to disclose more technical information to rivals.

The EU based its ruling on what it called the longstanding nature of , such as failing to give rivals information that they needed to compete fairly in the market for server software and offering Windows on the condition that it come bundled with Windows Media Player.

"We intend to file our appeal sometime next week," Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said Wednesday.

Microsoft's appeal will be to the in Luxembourg. The company has contended that the decision would harm its .

"We look forward to filing our appeal and believe we have a very strong case to present to the court," Desler said.

European regulators have said they believe that the ruling will hold up to any legal challenge.

"Of course, I'm confident we have produced a decision that will stand before any appeal," European Competition Commissioner said at a March press conference.

Microsoft is also expected to ask the Court of First Instance to delay any imposition of the remedies, but that request is not expected to be filed until later in June.

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