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Written by: Staff

BRUSSELS, Mar 4 (Reuters) Microsoft said on Friday it had asked U.S. Federal courts to force IBM, Sun Microsystems, Oracle and Novell to give it documents in its battle against the European Commission.

Microsoft is fighting against a fine of up to 2 million euros ($2.4 million) a day for failing to carry out sanctions that the Commission, the European Union's executive arm, imposed on it in 2004 for violating EU antitrust laws.

Microsoft had asked the EU executive to turn over communications between the companies and the Commission, a ''Monitoring Trustee'' in the case, and a technical adviser to the Commission known as OTR.

Microsoft says it needs those documents for its defence.

A Commission hearing officer turned over some documents, but said others were confidential under EU rules. Microsoft, citing a law that allows U.S. courts to order companies to turn over evidence for use in foreign and international tribunals, said it had filed papers in San Jose, California, New York and Boston.

($1=.8317 euro) REUTERS SD PM2005

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