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EC may fine Microsoft again

'It's a jigsaw and some pieces are missing'

The EC (European Commission) has threatened Microsoft with daily fines of €3m (about £2m) if it doesn't provide information about its Windows OS (operating system) by 23 November, according to a newspaper report.

Speaking to the The Guardian today, competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said Microsoft was trying her patience. "I don't have eternal life," she is reported to have said.

The EC fined Microsoft €280.5m (£190m) in July for failing to provide information as ordered in a landmark antitrust ruling in March 2004.

Microsoft initially claimed that it didn't understand what information the EC wanted. The 2004 ruling ordered the firm to make available enough information about Windows to allow makers of rival server software programs to design their products to work as seamlessly with Windows as Microsoft's own server OS.

After a hearing earlier this year, Microsoft said it finally understood what the EC was after, and submitted what it said was the final installment of information on 19 July.

However, Kroes said this isn't enough. "I am not impressed if someone says 90 percent of the information is already there when we need 100 percent. It's a jigsaw and some pieces are missing. In my opinion, this information should have been here a couple of months ago," the newspaper quotes her as saying.

Neither the EC nor Microsoft were immediately available to comment.


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