caught a big bid Tuesday morning following reports the European Union had turned down a proposal from
to settle antitrust concerns over its Windows Media movie and music program.
Reports said the E.U. rejected Microsoft's proposal to include rival media players like the one sold by RealNetworks in a CD that came with new personal computers. According to at least one story, the E.U. rejected the offer but left the door open for a counter-proposal.
RealNetworks was recently up 43 cents, or 8%, to $5.90 on the Instinet premarket session.
, another potential beneficiary, was up 12 cents from its Friday close to $23.12 on the Island ECN. Microsoft shook off the ruling and was recently up 17 cents, or 0.6%, to $26.76.
The European antitrust case is typical of previous Microsoft monopoly battles, including the case it settled in the U.S. involving its Web browser. Its competitors say the Redmond, Wash., software giant is unfairly squeezing their movie and music programs out of the marketplace by bundling Media Player with Windows, the operating system behind practically every personal computer sold.
This opinion is shared by the European Union Commission, which is expected to render a final decision on the matter in early March.