(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- This week the European Commission (EU) is finalizing its ruling in its long running antitrust case against Microsoft. Headquartered in Washington state, Microsoft is an unmatched leader in technological innovation. Microsoft is also a leader in job creation and economic growth here at home. U.S. Senator Patty Murray today released a statement expressing her disappointment that efforts to settle this case have failed.
“The EU’s proposed actions against Microsoft amount to a hostile act with severe consequences for the global economy.
I am deeply troubled by two things in particular. First, both Microsoft’s creative authority and the ability of consumers to reap the benefits of new technological innovation will be curtailed. Second, the EU has now directly attacked the authority of the United States government and our economy in general.
If press reports are true, the Commission’s ruling on Wednesday will render the U.S. settlement -- negotiated with Microsoft less than two years ago -- largely irrelevant. Microsoft is already subject to a highly detailed, ongoing regulatory framework designed to ensure marketplace competition and promote consumer welfare. The Commission’s ruling, however, will subject Microsoft to a new and wholly different set of regulations, despite the fact that Microsoft and its scores of commercial partners worldwide have already modified their businesses to comply with the U.S. settlement.
The reported fine of nearly 500 million Euros is unprecedented and a blatant attempt to regulate the U.S. economy. The EU is levying a fine based on revenues generated in the United States – revenues derived from activity expressly permitted under the U.S. decree. This action is completely unsupported by the original facts of the investigation and may be beyond the scope of the Commission’s authority.
This ruling is yet another example of the EU assaulting a successful American industry and policies that support our economic growth. While I recognize the Administration’s efforts to support a settlement, our government must now engage the EU immediately and seek a negotiated settlement to the Microsoft case. American jobs and economic interests are threatened by the actions of the EU.”