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The European Union has ordered Microsoft to hand over information on its software.

Brussels slams Microsoft

The EU’s competition commissioner Neelie Kroes has told software giant Microsoft it will face further fines unless it provides its rivals with comprehensive details of its software systems. The world’s largest software company had promised to deliver all the information about the forthcoming Vista operating system by July 19th in order to allow its systems to fully operate with rival networks, and has now been given until next Thursday to hand over the outstanding details. The firm could face fines of up to €3 million a day if it does not comply.

Kroes already fined Microsoft €280.5 million in July for failing to obey commission rulings. "I am not impressed if someone says 90 per cent of the information is already there when we need 100 per cent,” she told The Guardian. “It’s a jigsaw and some parts are missing. In my opinion, this information should have been here a couple of months ago."

It’s claimed that Microsoft felt it had begun to forge a new relationship with the European Commission through offering to share details of its software with rivals, after it was fined a record €497 million in 2004 for abusing its market dominance. Meanwhile, competitors maintain that the offer is insufficient.

Kroes has said she will sustain insistent pressure on the firm until it complies with the EU competition rules. She claims strictly adhering to regulations in this way is vital to economic growth and jobs in Europe. "I am the referee of the game and I will be tough and fair. I will not tolerate economic nationalism or attempts at bullying by member states or big companies."

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