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EU court to rule on Microsoft case mid-December
www.chinaview.cn 2004-11-26 02:41:31

    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 fines.

    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 media reports.

    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. Enditem 

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