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EU fines Microsoft $357m, threatens further penalties

BRUSSELS -- The European Union levied a second massive fine on Microsoft and threatened greater penalties in the future unless the world's largest software company obeys a 2004 antitrust order to share technical details of its Windows operating system with rivals.

Microsoft Corp. was fined $357 million yesterday for allegedly flouting the earlier order, on top of the record $613 million fine it paid at the time. It also faces new penalties of $3.82 million a day beginning July 31.

Microsoft, which earned $2.98 billion in the quarter ended March 31, said it would appeal, claiming the ``unprecedented" amount was unfair.

Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said the company would ask the EU's second-highest court, the Court of First Instance, if its compliance efforts have been sufficient, saying the EU had never been clear about what it wanted.

The EU told the company to supply accurate technical specifications to developers to help them make software for servers that help computers running Windows, printers, and other devices on a network talk to each other. It claims Microsoft is using its monopoly position with Windows to elbow into the new server software market.

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