A European Union antitrust regulator on Thursday threatened to fine Microsoft Corp. after the company accused the EU of withholding documents and colluding with its rivals before filing charges in December.
"If we pursue the line we are following now, there will be fines and they won't be small fines," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes told Dow Jones Newswires.
The EU has threatened $2.4 million in daily fines, backdated to Dec. 15, unless the company obeys a 2004 antitrust order to provide competitors with the information needed to make their software work with Microsoft servers. Microsoft claims that it worked strenuously in the fall to meet the EU demands and that regulators kept shifting the goalposts -- something the commission firmly denies.
Speaking to Dutch business leaders in The Hague, Kroes said Microsoft could still plead its case in a commission hearing March 30 and March 31 before the EU decides to impose fines.