Microsoft gets into trouble again with eu commission

Microsoft gets into trouble again with eu commission

The company is not keeping its promises from 2009 and is not offering its windows users a free choice between different internet browsers, said EU competition commissioner joaquin almunia on tuesday in brussel. Competitors had complained to the commission about the problem.

If the accusation is substantiated, microsoft could face a fine of up to ten percent of an annual turnover. The competition authority said it would insist on a monetary penalty to send a signal. Microsoft also assumes: "we understand that the EU commission was allowed to decide to impose further sanctions," the company wrote in a statement.

Microsoft admitted the error – which was only discovered "recently" – and spoke of a "technical error". This is the only reason why the software update service pack 1 for windows 7 was not delivered with the selection screen for the free choice of the web browser. This affects about 28 million consumers. "We deeply regret this error and apologize for it."Remedial action has already been taken: new software has been sent to all consumers since the beginning of july. External experts investigated the case and were to submit a report to the EU commission.

According to the EU commission, the software group has been in breach of its obligation since february 2011. The commissioner spoke of a unique case: "it is the first time that a company does not comply with the requirements of the antitrust authorities… We take this very seriously."

For years, microsoft has been fighting with brussel over the web browser. Browsers are needed to surf the world wide web. In 2009, the brussel competition authorities forced microsoft to offer consumers in the EU other browsers as alternatives to its own internet explorer on its homepage. Previously, microsoft installed its own internet explorer by default. Competitors such as mozilla firefox, google chrome, apple safari or opera should now also appear on a selection screen.

The commitment is valid for five years, i.E. Until 2014. Microsoft has now offered to extend this period by 15 months, according to its own statements.

With this step, brussel wanted to break the supremacy of the group – its windows market share in computers and laptops is over 90 percent across europe. However, internet explorer’s market share among browsers is significantly lower than that of windows among operating systems. According to a recent study by the market research company webtrekk, the microsoft browser comes in at 31.1 percent in germany, putting it in second place behind firefox (35.1 percent) and ahead of safari (16.9) and chrome (11.7).

The EU commission has repeatedly taken action against microsoft in the past and has imposed fines of around 1.7 billion euros in total. The crusade of competitive haters has been going on for more than a decade – it was by far the most spectacular case in brussel.

There is no deadline for the conclusion of the proceedings. Almunia, however, announced that he would push the matter forward as quickly as possible.


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