Software giant Microsoft abandoned its nine-year fight with European regulators on Monday, yielding to implement substantial changes required by the European Commission.
Microsoft agreed to license proprietary information on how Windows shares files and printers to end three years of legal wrangling over a 2004 antitrust order. The move will help 3rd party venders build their products to work with Windows servers and clients.
European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in the statement that, I welcome that Microsoft has finally undertaken concrete steps to ensure full compliance.
Changes Microsoft agreed to on Monday include a new willingness to slash the royalties it charges rivals for interoperability information on its Windows software, to a one-time fee of 10,000 euros ($14,300).
In addition, Microsoft has agreed to publish an irrevocable pledge not to assert its many patents against non-commercial open source software development projects accessing that interoperability information, the commission said.
Microsoft, which was fined nearly half a million euros in 2004 and a further 280.5 million euros ($401 million) in 2006 for non-compliance, faced the prospect of steep new fines if it did not accommodate the commission. There is no reason to impose further penalties on Microsoft as of this day, Kroes said.
At the time the Court of First Instance issued its judgment in September, Microsoft committed to taking any further steps necessary to achieve full compliance with the commission's decision, a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement. We have undertaken a constructive discussion with the commission and have now agreed on those additional steps.
Microsoft shares closed more than 1% higher Monday, to $30.51.