European court upholds most of Microsoft fine

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In a sign of the times, Microsoft itself turned to the watchdog in 2012, asking it to investigate Google Inc. for anticompetitive practices. Microsoft alleged that Google was demanding unreasonable fees to license its technologies and asking courts to pull Microsoft products from shelves if they don’t pay up. Google shot back with a similar request for the Commission to again investigate Microsoft last month.

Many observers say companies such as Apple Inc., Google and Microsoft are increasingly acting as “patent trolls,” using the legal and regulatory systems as tools to thwart competitors as part of their wider struggle for market share.

Almunia said in February “the Commission will continue to keep a close eye on the behavior of all market players in the sector, particularly the increasingly strategic use of patents.”

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