US software giant Microsoft has paid a fine of 497 million euros (605 million dollars) imposed on it by the European Commission in March for having abused its dominant market position, a commission spokeswoman said here Thursday.
Microsoft had paid the fine even though it has appealed to the European Court of Justice to cancel it and was seeking suspension of corrective measures imposed by the commission to re-establish competition on the European software market.
The commission, in fining Microsoft, said that the company had to offer a version of its operating system Windows without its Media Player software offering access to audio and video content.
The commission also required Microsoft to provide competitors with the information they needed to enable their products to communicate with Windows.
The money from the fine has been paid into an escrow account, meaning it is held in trust and neither Microsoft nor the commission has access while the appeal is pending.
Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel Brad Smith meanwhile encouraged people close to the matter to take a look at how a similar case was handled in the United States.
He pointed to the decision Wednesday of a US appeals court that upheld an antitrust settlement with the federal government,
"We respect the judicial system and process in Europe," Smith said during a conference call with reporters.
"We do believe at the same time that it's helpful for people following the case in Europe and around the world to read yesterday's decision," he added.
The appeals court stood by a 2001 settlement under which Microsoft agreed to change certain business practices, such as giving PC makers more flexibility in configuring their "desktops" to allow more rival software to be displayed.