Source Pravda.Ru

Microsoft is to reach an agreement

Microsoft has until the end of May to reach an agreement with the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2003/01/08/41747.html ' target=_blank>European Commission on how it will meet antitrust sanctions imposed against it, or face a $5 million a day fine.

European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes gave the May deadline Monday, following reports that Brussels was growing impatient over the software maker's pace.

If Microsoft does not reach an agreement with the regulator by the first of June, the Commission will decide whether it wants to initiate proceedings to impose a daily fine for noncompliance, according to spokesperson Jonathan Todd. The Commission could fine Microsoft up to 5 percent of its daily sales, equal to $5 million, tells the PC World.

Microsoft shares rose 16 cents to $25.90 in morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

An EU source said Microsoft was given the June 1 deadline when EU antitrust Commissioner Neelie Kroes held talks with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer a month ago. The two met at Ballmer's request to seek a breakthrough in the five-year standoff.

EU antitrust regulators fined Microsoft a record 497 million euros ($624 million) when they ruled in March last year that the company abusively wielded its Windows software domination to lock competitors out of the market.