Microsoft appeals EC fines as GC demands clarity

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith has stated his intention to appeal the European Commission’s €280m antitrust fine, and called for more clarity from the Commission.

Microsoft believes that it has complied with the EC’s requirements and has been left in the dark about how it can comply.

Smith told assembled journalists at a news conference: “It is not about compliance, but clarity.”

He said Microsoft would appeal the fine within the 70-day deadline, saying there were three grounds for appeal.

“First, before they issue a fine they have an obligation to be clear about what they want done,” said Smith

Smith said original December 2004 antitrust judgment used only five words to describe compliance: “Complete and accurate technical specifications.”

Secondly, he said licensees of Microsoft technology had been happy about the documentation and thirdly that the company had done everything the Commission asked, and within deadlines.

Smith said: “Every time we’ve been asked to do something, we’ve done it. We didn’t need a fine to get us to agree to do things.”