March 18, 2004

Microsoft-European Commission talks collapse

Talks between Microsoft and Mario Monti, the European competition commissioner, have collapsed, leaving the way clear for a damning decision about the
software giant's business practices next Wednesday.

In a prepared statement, read out to journalists in Brussels, Monti said that despite strenuous efforts by Microsoft to meet the European Commission's
concerns, a settlement of the case "has not been possible". "Therefore we will propose next Wednesday that the Commission adopts a decision," he

"In the end, I had to decide what was best for competition and consumers in Europe. I believe they will be better served with a decision that creates
a strong precedent," he said. "It is essential to have a precedent which will establish clear principles for the future conduct of a company with such
a strong dominant position in the market."



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