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EU sets deadline for Microsoft to give code

EU has given Microsoft eight days to submit the secret protocols of its Windows operating system to rivals.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 08:31 IST

The European Union has given software giant Microsoft eight days to submit the secret protocols of its Windows operating system to rivals or face the prospect of more fines, the EU competition commissioner said in an interview published on Wednesday.

"I don't have eternal life," Neelie Kroes said.

"I am not impressed if someone says 90 per cent of the information is already there when we need 100 per cent. It's a jigsaw and some parts are missing. In my opinion, this information should have been here a couple of months ago."

The US company has long clashed with the EU Commission over the crushing market power of its existing Windows operating system and was fined a record 497 million euros (637 million US dollars) in March 2004.

Frustrated with Microsoft's defiance against some of its demands, in July the Commission slapped daily fines adding up to 280.5 million euros over the six-month period of the penalty for failing to fully respect the 2004 antitrust ruling. Microsoft is appealing against that charge.

In March this year Kroes also sounded the alarm about Vista possibly breaking competition law and since then Brussels and Microsoft have held talks on the issue.

According to The Guardian, Kroes could fine Microsoft up to a further three million euros a day for not complying with her deadline.

She also denied she was pursuing a vendetta against the software company, but said she would maintain pressure on Microsoft to comply with the EU's competition rules.

"I am the referee of the game and I will be tough and fair," she said.