MS/DOJ: EC may not accept US remedies

Whatever happens in Microsoft's antitrust case against the US Department of Justice will not necessarily meet the requirements of the European Commission, warns a senior European Union official.

Whatever happens to Microsoft in the ongoing antitrust case that pits the software vendor against the US Department of Justice will not necessarily meet the requirements of the European Commission (EC), a senior European Union official, who asked not to be identified, has told IDG News Service.

"I cannot imagine for one second that the Commission will simply submit to the dismantling solution for Microsoft decided in the US," the official said.

Although many of the European and US concerns over Microsoft are the same, "solutions will have to be examined," he said.

In fact, over the last four months the Commission's services have been working out the conditions that Microsoft will have to respect in the EU in order to meet the Commission's concerns about the abuse of the software company's dominant market position, the official said. He declined to provide any details.

"I really cannot comment on what the Commission has said," Marie-Therese Huppertz, corporate attorney for law and corporate affairs in Europe for Microsoft, said. She restated Microsoft's commitment that any remedies it offers to the US will be applied worldwide.

Despite its concerns, the Commission has tended to take something of a backseat attitude toward the US in the ongoing Microsoft investigations. However such previous reluctance to take a stance does not necessarily mean that the EC will continue to follow the U.S. when it comes to remedies in the case.

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