The European Union has slapped Microsoft with a record $1.3 billion fine following a failed appeal in an antitrust case late last year. The case dates back to 2004, when the commission judged that Microsoft had abused its dominant position in the PC market by refusing to give rivals access at a fair price to communications codes which would allow their products to work properly with Windows.

Though Microsoft on October 2007 announced that it would fully comply with the commission’s 2004 ruling and lowered its licensing fee to a flat rate of €10,000, its decision came over three years after the initial ruling - hence the further fine levied today. Microsoft said that these fines were about past issues that have been resolved and has pledged it is now working under new principles to make its products more open.