The European Union's Court of First Instance handed Microsoft a major defeat on Monday, slapping down the software maker's appeal in three significant areas of the historic antitrust case brought by the European Commission.
In the closely watched case, which has dragged on since March 2004, the Luxembourg-based court upheld the Commission's findings that Microsoft abused its dominant position in the market.
Interoperability. The court agreed with the Commission that Microsoft was stifling competition by withholding certain technical specifications, or protocols, from rivals. The court also agreed that the Commission wanted Microsoft to share only the system protocols, and not its source code. After all, not everyone wants to be "like" Microsoft.
"The court rejects Microsoft's claims that the degree of interoperability required by the Commission is intended in reality to enable competing work group server operating systems to function in every respect like a Windows system and, accordingly, to enable Microsoft's competitors to clone or reproduce its products," the Court of First Instance stated in its decision.