European Union regulators have rejected Microsoft's latest offer to settle long-running antitrust charges but are continuing talks, sources said Tuesday.
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP)European Union regulators have rejected
as insufficient Microsoft Corp.s latest offer to settle
long-running antitrust charges but are continuing talks, sources
familiar with the discussions said Tuesday.
With a decision from the EU due this spring, the U.S. software
giant has been scrambling to avert what could be a far-reaching
order to change the way it packages its dominant Windows desktop
operating system and reveal more of its underlying code to rival
Spokespeople for the European Commission and Microsoft declined
to comment on a report in Tuesdays Financial Times that Microsoft
had offered to include rival media player software on a CD-ROM
packaged with personal computers to help resolve the case.
Microsoft said only that it "continues to work actively with
the European Commission toward an amicable settlement in this
Sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated
Press Microsofts offer had been dismissed by the commission as
unsatisfactory but that the search continued for ways to make it
acceptable to regulators.
In an echo of the landmark U.S. case involving Internet
browsers, the commissions draft decision finds Microsoft abused
its Windows monopoly to gain ground over rivals in the media player
The U.S. case was settled in 2002 without requiring Microsoft to
"untie" its Internet Explorer from Windows. Microsoft argues that
adding new features to Windowsa key to its business strategybenefits consumers, while its competitors argue it is aimed at
driving them out of business.
Microsoft is trying to avoid an order now in the EU case to
remove its Media Player, which is gaining market share at the
expense of rivals RealNetworks and Apple Computer. Such an order
could also complicate its next planned Windows innovation:
incorporating an Internet search engine to compete with Googles.