EU court to rule on Microsoft's challenge to antitrust order in September

EU court to rule on Microsoft's challenge to antitrust order in September
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - A European Union court will rule Sept. 17 on Microsoft's challenge to an order that that imposed hundreds of millions of dollars of fines on the world's biggest software company for what the regulators said was anti-competitive activity, the court said Tuesday.

The Court of First Instance, the EU's second-highest court, will decide on the European Commission's 2004 order that found the company broke competition law and imposed a record fine of 497 million euros ($613 million).

In addition, the EU ordered Microsft Corp. to sell a copy of Windows without its media player software and told it to share communications code and information with rivals to help them develop server software that worked smoothly with Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows desktop operating system.

EU regulators later fined Microsoft another 280.5 million euros ($357 million) for failing to supply the "complete and accurate" interoperability required. Microsoft has said it will also appeal that decision.

Both Microsoft and the Commission may also appeal the main 2004 ruling to the European Court of Justice, which is the EU's highest court.