BRUSSELS, Nov. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- The European Union (EU)'s Court of First
Instance will decide between 18 and 20 December whether to suspend the European
Commission's sanctions against software giant Microsoft, online newsletter
EUobserver said on Thursday.
The Commission, the executive arm of the EU, decided in March this year
that Microsoft was "abusing its dominant market position"and therefore breaking
EU competition laws. It ordered the US software giant to pay a record fine of
497 million euros and to change some of its marketing practices.
Microsoft appealed against the Commission's decision and the
Luxembourg-based Court will now rule in mid-December whether to overturn the
The case has been complicated by the recent withdrawal from thelegal
proceedings of two main Microsoft opponents, Novell and a US-based trade group
called the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA).
These two groups reached settlements with Microsoft earlier this month to
withdraw from the case. Microsoft paid Novell 536 million dollars to remove its
complaints against it. A smaller amount was also paid to CCIA, according to
However, the judge in the case, Bo Versterdorf, will still takeinto account
the evidence presented by Novell and CCIA when deciding on the appeal, say
lawyers from both sides.
The company RealNetworks, which makes a rival media
player system to Microsoft, is now the only firm left on the Commission'sside
after Microsoft made similar settlements with Sun Microsystems and Time Warner.