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Microsoft faces fines from Dutch court over bankruptcy of Russia-linked bank

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A Dutch court ruled that Microsoft Corp. must allow bankruptcy trustees appointed to the Russia-linked Amsterdam Trade Bank to access to its data or face fines.

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The technology giant risks daily fines of 10 million euros ($10.5 million), with a maximum penalty of 100 million euros, if it doesn’t comply with the ruling, court-appointed trustee Job van Hooff said by phone late Tuesday. ATB, a lender linked to Russia’s Alfa Group, was declared bankrupt last month in the Netherlands after US and UK sanctions paralyzed its payment systems.

“We don’t have access to email boxes because they have been shut down by Microsoft,” van Hooff said. “They contain important information for us trustees to be able to conduct the investigation into the causes of the bankruptcy,” he said.

“There are also all kinds of documents, excel files, internal committee reports, minutes from management board meetings that were also to a large part stored in Microsoft’s environment.”

The trustees and Microsoft are currently discussing the issue, said van Hooff. “We’re evaluating potential solutions that would enable us to comply with both the court’s decision and sanctions imposed by the US, EU, and UK,” said Sarah O’Hare O’Neal, associate general counsel of global trade at Microsoft by email.

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