Monday

21st Jan 2019

US remarks on Microsoft ruling 'unacceptable', says Kroes

  • "It is absolutely not on," says Ms Kroes (Photo: EUobserver)

EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes has lashed out at the US government for having criticised an EU court ruling upholding the European Commission's 2004 anti-trust decision on Microsoft.

"It is totally unacceptable that a representative of the US administration criticises an independent court of law outside its jurisdiction," Ms Kroes told journalists at a separate press conference in Brussels on Wednesday (19 September).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"It is absolutely not on. The European Commission does not pass judgement on rulings by US courts and we expect the same degree of respect from US authorities for rulings by EU courts."

The commissioner's unusually harsh comments came as a reaction to a statement by the US Justice Department's top antitrust official, Thomas Barnett.

"We are concerned that the standard applied to unilateral conduct by the [EU court], rather than helping consumers, may have the unfortunate consequence of harming consumers by chilling innovation and discouraging competition," he said on Monday (17 September).

The remark was sparked by a judgment made earlier in the day by the European Court of First Instance - the EU's second highest court – which upheld an EU decision to fine software giant Microsoft €497 million for abusing its dominant market position and to order the US-based company to share information on its programming systems.

Ms Kroes is set to visit the US in the coming weeks where the issue is likely to come up.

The last time the two regions exchanged harsh comments about anti-trust regulation was in 2001 when the EU executive blocked a merger between US firms General Electric Co. and Honeywell.

The then EU anti-trust commissioner Mario Monti brushed off criticism from US president George Bush and other top US officials who accused the EU of "protectionism".

Decision to block merger provokes outrage in US

The decision by the European Commission to block the merger between General Electric Co. and Honeywell has prompted harsh criticism by American President George Bush and other top US officials, including Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, according to CNN.

Microsoft case sets precedent, says Brussels

In a major victory for Brussels, an EU court has upheld a European Commission decision to fine software giant Microsoft €497 million for abusing its dominant market position.

Commissioner Monti seeks to heal rift over merger

Following the recent dispute between Europe and America over the blocking of the merger between General Electrics and Honeywell, officials on both sides of the Atlantic said they were scrambling to find out why the world's two great regulatory machines had come to such starkly different conclusions, writes the Telegraph.

EU bleeding untold billions to fraud

Over €6bn of EU taxpayers' money was stolen by criminals in recent years and over €130m is still being lost each year, EU auditors said.

ECB takes over ailing Italian bank

Decades of mismanagement appear to have caught up with Italy's Carige bank as the European Central Bank takes control in a move to stave off another banking crisis.

News in Brief

  1. Poll: Macron popularity up four percent
  2. 'Economy is broken' says Oxfam in global inequality report
  3. Vestager under pressure to allow Siemens-Alstom deal
  4. Teargas and clashes in Athens over Macedonia name change
  5. EU trade commissioner asks for green light for US talks
  6. Slovakia's commissioner takes unpaid leave to run for presidency
  7. Minority elects Lofven as prime minister of Sweden
  8. Putin opposes EU prospects of Serbia and Kosovo

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Polish mayor's funeral marred by Tusk TV dispute
  2. Salvini and Kaczynski - the new 'axis' powers?
  3. Seven member states miss climate plan deadline
  4. Aachen treaty and Brexit endgame This WEEK
  5. Germany led way on EU rights protection
  6. How to troll the European Parliament elections
  7. MEPs in Strasbourg: everywhere but the plenary
  8. Brexit delay 'reasonable', as May tries cross-party talks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us