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The EU's New Heat on Microsoft

On top of fines and new inquiries, Microsoft is in danger of EU governments effectively banning its software to create documents

Will Microsoft's struggle with the European Union's antitrust watchdog never end? The announcement Feb. 27 that the European Commission is slapping more than $1.3 billion in new fines on the software maker (MFST) is the clearest signal yet that the battle between Redmond and Brussels is far from over.

This time, the commission is again penalizing the company for failing to comply with a 2004 order to reduce what it charges rivals for access to the information they need to make their products work better with Microsoft's market-dominant software. Combined with earlier fines against the software giant totaling more than $600 million, the EU has now fined Microsoft nearly $2 billion in a clash that began nearly decade ago and culminated with a landmark court case in September.