BRUSSELS: Microsoft was hit Wednesday with an eyewatering $1.36 billion (€899.0m; £682.8m) by European Union competition commissioner Neelie Kroes. The penalty – a record – was the third slapped on the software colossus for its failure to comply with a four-year-old antitrust ruling.

Over that period, Microsoft has been fined almost €1.7 bn for abusing its dominance of PC operating systems through its Windows software. 

Kroes (pictured), clearly undaunted by the size of her Brobdingnagian opponent, said: "I hope today's decision closes a dark chapter in Microsoft's record of non-compliance. This should be a signal that we will stick to our line."

Microsoft said only that it intends to mull the fine. Should it decide to stump-up, it would signal a final closure of its almost ten-year battle with the European Union.

Data sourced from The Times (UK); additional content by WARC staff