Access to Microsoft's vast web of datacenters could be helpful to researchers looking to store and analyze large sets of data that would be difficult to study using only local computers and networks.

London - Microsoft on Wednesday lost its battle to overturn a European Commission ruling that the computing giant should pay a hefty financial penalty because of its unhealthy market dominance.

Judges at the General Court, Europe's second-highest, ordered the company behind the Windows operating system to pay €860m in fines.

“We are disappointed,” Microsoft admitted, although it welcomed a small concession from the EC, which cut the fine from almost €900m previously.

The EC first made its anti-competition ruling against Microsoft in 2008. While the US giant accepted the judgment, its lawyers have been fighting hard to reduce the fines.

Microsoft did not say if it will mount a fresh appeal with the highest court, the European Court of Justice.

European regulators have been taking a tough line against big tech companies, with Google facing a similar competition inquiry. - The Independent