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Information technology


The Commission pursued its proceedings against Microsoft to ensure compliance with the 2004 Decision69 with regard to pricing and licensing terms for the interoperability information relating to the first abuse concerning refusal to supply. Article 5 of the 2004 Decision requires that these terms be reasonable and non- discriminatory. In 2006 the Commission had already imposed on Microsoft a definitive penalty payment of EUR 280.5 million for not providing complete and accurate interoperability information70. Consequently, on 1 March the Commission issued a statement of objections addressed to Microsoft which set out the Commission’s preliminary assessment that Microsoft had not complied with its obligation to offer the complete and accurate interoperability information on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms71.


Following the judgment by the Court of First Instance of 17 September dismissing the substantive elements of Microsoft’s application for annulment of the 2004 Decision on 22 October Microsoft announced a significant reduction in its licence fees. It also offered an updated version of its relevant licence agreements. As of that date the Commission has no further objections concerning Microsoft's compliance with the 2004 Decision72.


A statement of objections was sent to Intel on 26 July indicating the Commission’s preliminary conclusion that Intel had engaged in three types of abusive practices aimed at excluding AMD, Intel’s main rival, from the x86 Computer Processing Units (CPU) market.


The Commission sent a statement of objections to Rambus on 30 July outlining its preliminary view that Rambus had abused a dominant position by claiming unreasonable royalties for the use of certain patents for Dynamic Random Access Memory chips (DRAMS)73. The Commission’s preliminary view is that Rambus engaged in intentional deceptive conduct in the context of the standard-setting process in the form of what is known as a patent ambush74.


On 30 August the Commission opened proceedings75 against Qualcomm Inc., a US chipset manufacturer and holder of IP rights in the CDMA and WCDMA standards for mobile telephony. Complaints allege that Qualcomm’s licensing practices are not





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Commission Decision of 24 May 2004 relating to a proceeding pursuant to Article 82 of the EC Treaty and Article 54 of the EEA Agreement against Microsoft Corporation, Case COMP/37.792, Microsoft (OJ L 32, 6.2.2007, p. 23). http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/antitrust/cases/decisions/37792/art24_2_decision.pdf

http://ec.europa.eu/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=MEMO/07/90|0|RAPI D&lg=EN http://ec.europa.eu/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/07/1567|0|RAPID&lg=EN On 27 February 2008 the Commission imposed a penalty payment of EUR 899 million on Microsoft for non-compliance with the 2004 Decision prior to 22 October 2007. This Decision adopted under Article 24(2) of Regulation 1/2003, finds that, prior to 22 October 2007, Microsoft had charged unreasonable prices for access to interface documentation for work group servers (see IP/08/318, 27.2.2008). DRAMS are the computer’s “working” memory. See http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/antitrust/cases/index/by_nr_77.html#i38_636 See http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/antitrust/cases/decisions/39247/proceedings.pdf

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