Report: EU will announce Microsoft antitrust fine Wednesday

Microsoft will be fined for failing to live up to its 2009 settlement agreement, according to The New York Times

The European Commission is expected to levy a large antitrust fine on Microsoft Wednesday for not abiding by a requirement to provide customers with a choice of browsers, The New York Times is reporting.

Following the report, the Commission's Wednesday schedule was released and it includes a statement on an unnamed antitrust issue from competition chief Joaquin Almunia. Commission officials refused to say which case is involved, but Microsoft seems likely given reports by the Times, which did not provide any information about its sources for the news, and other media, which cited unnamed sources.

The company was found by the Commission to have breached European Union competition laws by providing only its Internet Explorer browser with Windows in 2009. The company was ordered to include a browser choice page in its upgrade to Windows 7. The browser ballot screen was set as a requirement by the Commission following an anticompetitive ruling against Microsoft in 2009.

However, following an upgrade in 2011, the browser option page disappeared. Mozilla claims that Microsoft's browser ballot omission for 16 months resulted in 8.8 million fewer downloads of Firefox than would otherwise likely have occurred.

Microsoft has repeatedly said this was an oversight that it regretted and blamed a "technical fault." Nonetheless, Joaquin Almunia charged Microsoft last October for failing to honor its commitments and is on the record as saying he wanted the case tied up by the end of this month.

This would be the first time the Commission has fined a company for failing to follow a settlement agreement, something Google will be watching closely as it too is under investigation by the antitrust chief. Almunia could impose a fine of up to 10 percent of Microsoft's global annual revenue.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags antitrustMicrosoftregulationWindowslegalsoftwareWindows 7governmentoperating systems

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?