... As regards the refusal to supply the interoperability information, the Court recalls that, according to the case-law, although undertakings are, as a rule, free to choose their business partners, in certain circumstances a refusal to supply on the part of a dominant undertaking may constitute an abuse of a dominant position. Before a refusal by the holder of an intellectual property right to license a third party to use a product can be characterised as an abuse of a dominant position, three conditions must be satisfied: the refusal must relate to a product or service indispensable to the exercise of an activity on a neighbouring market; the refusal must be of such a kind as to exclude any effective competition on that market; and the refusal must prevent the appearance of a new product for which there is potential consumer demand. Provided that such circumstances are satisfied, the refusal to grant a licence may constitute an abuse of a dominant position unless
it is objectively justified.
In the present case, the Court finds that the Commission did not err in considering that those conditions were indeed satisfied. The Court considers that the Commission was correct to conclude that the work group server operating systems of Microsoft’s competitors must be able to interoperate with Windows domain architecture on an equal footing with Windows operating systems if they are to be capable of being marketed viably. The absence of such interoperability has the effect of reinforcing Microsoft’s competitive position on the market and creates a risk that competition will be eliminated. The Court observes that the circumstance relating to the appearance of a new product must be assessed under Article 82(b) of the Treaty. It considers that the Commission’s finding that Microsoft’s refusal limits technical development to the prejudice of consumers within the meaning of that provision is not manifestly incorrect.
Last, the Court rejects Microsoft’s arguments to the effect that the refusal is objectively justified because the technology concerned is covered by intellectual property rights. The Court notes that such justification would render ineffective the principles established in the case-law which are referred to above. The Court further considers that Microsoft has failed to show that if it were required to disclose the interoperability information that would have a significant negative effect on its incentives to innovate.
The Court therefore upholds the part of the decision concerning interoperability.
Таким образом, Microsoft признана монополистом по обоим пунктам (межсистемное взаимодействие и внедрение медиа-плеера в систему), но решение Комиссии по monitoring trustee отвергнуто. Это означает, что штраф в 497 миллионов евро остается, плюс по 2 млн евро за каждый день просрочки. У Микрософт есть два месяца на аппеляцию в суде высшей инстанции (Court of Justice of European Communities, после него уже ничего), чем они скорее всего и воспользуются.
Полное постановление суда: http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=T-201/04