BRUSSELS, March 24 (UPI) -- The European Commission Wednesday fined software giant Microsoft $613 million for breaking EU antitrust rules.
The Brussels-based EU executive also ordered the company to reveal the secret behind its Windows software, which is used by more than 90 percent of the world's computers, within 120 days and to offer PC manufacturers a version of Windows without Media Player within 90 days.
European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti said the decision was not taken "easily or hastily" but was "best for innovation and European consumers." Accusing Microsoft of abusing its near-monopoly position to shut out competition, the senior EU official said consumers ended up with "less choice and higher prices."
The fine is the largest ever imposed by the commission, but will only make a small dent in the company's $50 billion war-chest. Microsoft, which intends to appeal the fine, described the ruling as "unprecedented and inappropriate."