Microsoft on Trial
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Microsoft on Trial

Legal and Economic Analysis of a Transatlantic Antitrust Case

Edited by Luca Rubini

This fascinating and highly relevant book facilitates discussion on the difficult technical, legal and economic issues with respect to innovation, competition and welfare raised, through the span of more than a decade, by the US and EC Microsoft antitrust cases. It assesses their impact on the evolution of European and US laws on competition and intellectual property in the IT sector and beyond.
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Chapter 2: Windows into the World of Abuse of Dominance: An Analysis of the Commission’s 2004 Microsoft Decision and the CFI’s 2007 Judgment

Nicholas Banasevic and Per Hellström


Nicholas Banasevic and Per Hellström* INTRODUCTION 1. On 24 March 2004, the European Commission concluded by way of Decision that Microsoft had violated Article 82 of the EC Treaty by abusing its dominant position in client PC operating systems in two ways. First, it had illegally refused to supply interoperability information which was indispensable for rival vendors to compete in the work group server operating systems market. Secondly, it had illegally tied its Windows Media Player product to its Windows PC operating system. The Commission also imposed a fine of €497,196 million for what it found to be a very serious infringement of Article 82 EC.1 On 7 June 2004, Microsoft appealed this Decision to the second highest Court in Europe, the European Court of First Instance (CFI). On 17 September 2007, sitting as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, the CFI upheld the substance of the Commission’s Decision as regards both abuses, as well as the fine that the Commission had imposed.2 Microsoft chose not to appeal the CFI’s judgment to the European Court of Justice. * The views expressed in this chapter are the authors’ personal views, and do not necessarily represent the position of the European Commission. We are grateful to Friedrich Wenzel Bulst, Kevin Coates, Vittorio di Bucci, Ryan Gordon Heath and Thomas Kramler for their comments on and input to this chapter. 1 Commission Decision 2007/53/EC of 24 March 2004 [2007] OJ L32/23 (hereinafter ‘The Decision’). 2 Case T-201/04 Microsoft v Commission [2007] ECR...

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