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Software

EU anti-trust chief eager to close Microsoft case

BRUSSELS, Sept 23 (Reuters) - The European Union's anti-trust chief wants to reach a deal with Microsoft Corp MSFT.O in a dispute over web browsers before she leaves her post later this year, she said in an interview published on Wednesday.

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes told the International Herald Tribune she also wanted to close other important cases, including one involving wireless chip maker Qualcomm Inc QCOM.O, before the executive European Commission's term ends in November.

Referring to the long-standing battle with Microsoft over the U.S. company’s former practice of bundling its Internet browser with its flagship Windows programme, she said: “I would be pleased if we could close that dossier.”

The Commission has over the years imposed fines totalling 1.68 billion euros ($2.5 billion) on Microsoft for infringing EU antitrust rules. It could levy another hefty penalty if it were to rule against the company in the web browsers case.

In the Qualcomm case, the Commission is examining whether royalties and licensing terms are compatible with the EU’s anti-trust laws.

Kroes also said should would like to discuss anti-trust issues related to Google GOOG.O with her U.S. counterpart during a visit to Washington this week. (Writing by Marcin Grajewski; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=.6754 Euro)

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