Javier - 2005-11-04

The European Union's Court of First Instance hopes to rule on Microsoft's antitrust case by early spring, court President Bo Vesterdorf said Friday.

Microsoft has gone to the EU court to challenge a 2004 decision by the European Commission, which found that the U.S. software company used near-monopoly power to muscle rivals.

"Hopefully, we will have a ruling in early spring--hopefully before April," Vesterdorf told reporters at a competition conference.

He made no further comments about the case.

Brussels found that Microsoft had violated European antitrust rules through unfair business practices. It fined Microsoft and ordered it to make available a version of its Windows operating system without Windows Media Player.