Report: EU Prepares 497 Million Euro Fine Against Microsoft

According to published reports, Microsoft's balance sheet assets may be in peril. Reuters is reporting that a source within a European Union member state revealed that the EU Commission is preparing to levy a hefty 497 million Euro fine against the software giant.

If true, this report may portend the gravity of the Commission's upcoming ruling addressing the anti-competitive business tactics Microsoft is alleged to have practiced.  

Specifically, Microsoft is accused of unfairly tying its Windows Media Player technologies into the Windows operating system and denying competitors crucial information needed to make their servers compatible with Windows desktops systems.

"The hefty fine, which is less than what the EU could have levied, foreshadows the ruling to come. According to press reports last week, the EU wanted Microsoft to agree to limitations on integrating new features into Windows," said senior Jupiter Research analyst Joe Wilcox.

"Typically settlement negotiations are the place for compromise. The fine would be consistent with a harsh ruling to come, assuming the leaked settlement information is accurate and reflects a compromise on the part of the EU."

To remedy its grievances with Redmond, the EU is expected to ask Microsoft to strip Windows Media Player from Windows and open up its Windows blueprints.  A Microsoft representative could not be reached in time for publication.

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