Microsoft apologises for failure to abide by EC ruling over web browsers
Posted in: Government & Policy at 18/07/2012 20:22
Microsoft has apologised to the European Commission and may face a fine after failing to abide by a ruling to give users of its Windows software choice over their web browser.
The EC's competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Tuesday that since February 2011 Microsoft had failed to provide users with a screen - as agreed in a 2009 antitrust commitment - which would let users choose their default browser from a list including Microsoft internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Opera and others.
EU on Microsoft Browser Ballot Bungle: There Could Be Severe Consequences
The European Commission has threatened Microsoft with severe penalties after discovering that the company has failed to comply with a mandate to offer Windows users in Europe a choice of Web browsers.
Under the terms of a 2009 antitrust settlement with the European Commission, Microsoft was to present Windows users with a ballot screen offering them an opportunity to swap out Internet Explorer for one of 11 other browsers from rivals like Mozilla, Apple, Opera and Google. And it did do that, initially. But with an update to Windows 7 rolled out in February of 2011, Microsoft eliminated the ballot screen, and didn't realize it had done so until it was alerted by the EC on July 2.
EU to investigate Microsoft over anti-trust agreement
The European Commission has opened a fresh investigation into whether Microsoft has kept the anti-trust commitments it made in 2009.
Microsoft had agreed to provide customers with a screen to allow them to chose internet browsers other than its own Internet Explorer.
In a statement, Microsoft conceded it had "fallen short", blaming a technical error.
The European Commission said penalties for non-compliance would be "severe".
Europe Opens New Microsoft Inquiry
The European Commission said Tuesday that it was beginning new antitrust proceedings against Microsoft, saying the company had failed to live up to a three-year-old agreement to give users of its Windows software better access to competitors' Internet browser software.
Microsoft immediately apologized, calling it a technical problem it had learned of only recently. "We deeply regret that this error occurred and we apologize for it," the company said in a statement.
Microsoft Faces EU Antitrust Probe Over Web-Brower Choice
Microsoft Corp. risks European Union penalties for failing to comply with a settlement to give users a choice of web browsers, more than two years after it tried to end a decade-long clash with antitrust regulators.
EU Competition Commission Joaquin Almunia said Microsoft may have misled regulators by failing to display a browser choice screen to users of the Windows operating system since February 2011. The world's largest software company blamed a technical error for not showing the screen to some users and offered to extend its commitment until March 2016.