Microsoft did not meet browser commitments 2011-12: EU

Oct 24, 2012

Microsoft did not meet commitments to provide clients a web browser choice in 2011-12, the European Commission said Wednesday as it pursued a probe that could lead to more fines for the US software giant.

had made a legally binding commitment to provide such a choice and it was a serious matter to breach them, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said.

If companies "enter into commitments they must do what they committed to do otherwise they must face the consequences," Almunia told a press conference.

A statement said the commission had told the company "of its preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to comply with its commitments to offer users a choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred " between February 2011 and July 2012.

The commitments had been legally binding on Microsoft in 2009 to address competition concerns failing redress, the commission was now sending a 'statement of objections' on its position as the investigation proceeds.

It said from February 2011 to July 2012, "millions of Windows users in the EU may not have seen the choice screen. Microsoft has acknowledged that the choice screen was not displayed during that period," the statement said.

In response to the EU request in 2009, Microsoft had said it would make available for five years in the European Economic Area a "choice screen."

This would have enabled Windows users "to choose in an informed and unbiased manner which web browser(s) they wanted to install in addition to, or instead of, Microsoft's web browser," the statement added.

A statement of objections is a formal step in Commission investigations, allowing the concerned party to reply, with a final decision only coming after they have made their defence.

Under EU law, a company found to have breached commitments given to resolve such cases can face a fine of up to 10 percent of its annual sales.

Explore further: Uber: As drivers get perks, riders losing patience on privacy snafus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU: 100 million Microsoft users to choose browser

Mar 02, 2010

(AP) -- The European Union said Tuesday that some 100 million Europeans using Microsoft Corp. software will be asked to choose among rival Web browsers by mid-May under a deal it struck with the company to ...

EU finally about to settle Microsoft browser case

Oct 07, 2009

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp., which has already shelled out $2.5 billion in antitrust fines in Europe, is on the brink of closing a chapter in its long-running battle with regulators there, just in time for another ...

Microsoft rival: browser downloads double

Mar 18, 2010

(AP) -- Norway's Opera said Thursday that downloads of its browser more than doubled after Microsoft Corp. was forced to give European users a choice of Web software to settle European Union antitrust charges.

Recommended for you

BlackBerry courts iPhone users with cash

12 hours ago

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is wooing Apple customers with a cash offer for trade-ins of iPhones for its new square-screened, keyboard-equipped Passport.

HP earnings show continued struggle

13 hours ago

Venerable tech giant Hewlett-Packard has been struggling for three years to turn its business around. Its latest earnings show it still has more work ahead.

Apple market value hits $700 bn

19 hours ago

A rise in Apple shares Tuesday pushed the market value of the trend-setting US tech icon above $700 billion, becoming the first company to hit that milestone.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lurker2358
not rated yet Oct 24, 2012
If companies "enter into commitments they must do what they committed to do otherwise they must face the consequences," Almunia told a press conference.


They were blackmailed into the commitment.

Why does the EU insist on forcing Microsoft to advertise for it's own competitors, and apparently even distribute for them?

Not that I use IE for anything other than downloads now anyway, but it's the principle.

If you buy a Craftsman toolbox, you expect Craftsman tools. It's the same way with operating systems and other software packages.

If I bought Craftsman and found some other brand of tools in the box, I'd be outraged.

Same thing goes for Windows.

Get over it EU.

I like my OS to have IE installed ahead of time.

Thanks Microsoft, please continue.
Royale
not rated yet Oct 24, 2012
I have to agree.. and why isn't the EU forcing Apple to do the same?? It comes stuffing Safari (and their stupid Mail, iPhoto, etc hardcoded into the damn thing). What's the difference here?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.