SOFTWARE giant Microsoft was today threatened with daily fines of up to £1.35 million for failing to comply with antitrust sanctions a year after a top European Union court rejected its appeal.
The European Commission hung the threat of the fine over the US company unless it complies with an order to provide interface information to allow rivals' group servers to work with its ubiquitous Windows operating system.
"I have given Microsoft every opportunity to comply with its obligations," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.
"However, I have been left with no alternative other than to proceed via the formal route to ensure Microsoft's compliance."
Microsoft has five weeks to reply to the EC's statement of objections and the right to an oral hearing.
In a landmark ruling in March 2004, the world's biggest software firm was found guilty of abusing its position, hit with a record fine of more than 300m and told to open up its systems.
The Court of First Instance, the EU's second-highest court, rejected Microsoft's appeal to suspend the measures last December and warned it would face a daily fine if it did not comply with its obligation by December 15, 2005.
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