On 22 December 2004, the President of the European Court of First Instance issued an order rejecting Microsoft’s application for a suspension of the remedies imposed by the European Commission in its decision of 24 March 2004, effectively forcing Microsoft to provide interoperability information to rival server operating systems suppliers, and to offer an “unbundled” version of its Windows operating system without the Windows Media Player. The President found that, while Microsoft had established a prima facie case on the merits, it had not proved that it would suffer serious and irreparable harm from immediate implementation of the remedies ordered by the Commission (see CLI 18 January 2005, p.16). Microsoft has since announced that it will not appeal the CFI President’s order to the President of the European Court of Justice (Reuters, 24 January 2005). This article first discusses some of the procedural issues highlighted by the President’s order, and in particular examines the considerations that may have influenced Microsoft’s decision not to appeal. It then explores the potential significance of the President’s statements about Microsoft’s prima facie case for Microsoft’s pending main action for annulment (Case T-201/04).


Antitrust and Trade Regulation

Date of this Version

February 2005