EU court upholds Microsoft sanctions

Decision will cost company $613 million

BRUSSELS — The Luxembourg-based European Court of First Instance has turned down an appeal by Microsoft to delay sanctions that had been imposed on the company for abusing the market dominance of its Windows operating system.

The European Commission had landed Microsoft with a Euros 497 million ($613 million) fine, the largest it has ever imposed in a case of this nature. It also demanded changes in the company’s business practises, including making Microsoft divulge trade secrets to competitors, and put out a version of Windows without Media Player included in it.

Microsoft had called for the sanctions to be suspended until the case goes before a civil court. But the CoFI said that the company “has not shown that it might suffer serious and irreparable damage as a result of implementation of the contested decision.” According to the commission, the judgement means that the sanctions become effective immediately.

Microsoft still has the option of appealing to the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice. The full appeals process could take up to five years

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