Microsoft faces fine for breaking browser anti-trust pledge

EU anti-trust regulators are set to hit Microsoft with a hefty fine

March 6, 2013
MIcrosoft new logo

European Union anti-trust regulators are set to hit Microsoft with a hefty fine on Wednesday for breaking a promise to offer consumers using its Windows systema choice of rival Internet browsers, people familiar with the case said.

EU anti-trust chief Joaquin Almunia is expected to use the fine – which could run into hundreds of millions of euros – to set an example after the U.S. software giant became the first company to break a promise made to end an anti-trust probe.

Almunia will announce his decision at 1130 GMT, the sources said. Reuters reported last week that EU regulators would fine Microsoft before the end of March.

EU rules mean the company could be penalized $7.4 billion or 10 percent of its fiscal 2012 revenues although regulators are not expected to levy such a high fine.

The fines relate to an anti-trust battle in Europe more than a decade ago. In order to avoid a penalty then, Microsoft promised to offer European consumers a choice of rival browsers.

EU anti-trust regulators said this did not happen for a period during February 2011 and July 2012, a lapse Microsoft blamed on a technical error. It has said it since tightened internal procedures to avoid a repeat.

The European Commission has already fined Microsoft 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion) to date for not providing data at fair prices to rivals and for tying its media player to its operating system.

The latest lapse did not escape the notice of Microsoft’s board, which cut the bonus of chief executive Steve Ballmer last year, partly because of the Windows division’s failure to provide a browser choice screen as required by the European Commission, according to an annual proxy filing.

Both the European Commission and Microsoft declined to comment.

Microsoft’s share of the European browser market has roughly halved since 2008 to 24 percent in January, below the 35 percent held by Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s 29 percent share, according to Web traffic analysis company StatCounter.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Writing By John O’Donnell; Editing by Sophie Hares)

More anti-trust news

Google anti-trust probe ends with mild reprimand

EU, Google to seek anti-trust accord

FTC to delay Google anti-trust probe decision: source

Tags: anti-trust, Microsoft, quicknews

Free Email Newsletter:
Subscribe

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – technology images can be found here

Join the conversation

Connect with MyBB

twitterfacebookandroidappleblackberrynewsletterfeed

Poll

Do you use the Post Office to send letters or packages to people?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

EU plays cyber war games

Credit card hacker

A European Union cyber-security agency was in Athens to conduct the largest exercise ever held on the continent to prevent attacks on Europe’s public utilities and communications networks

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 accidental damage warranty explained

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung explains why it decided not to offer all of ADH Premium’s benefits with the Note 4

Apple CEO thankful for being gay

Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook speaks on stage during an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013.

Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook publicly came out as gay in an article he wrote in Bloomberg Businessweek

Axxess improves mobile data rollover

Axxess Mobile data rollover

Axxess has adopted a first-in-first-out mobile data rollover policy, where the oldest mobile data will be used first

Free MyBroadband Newsletter:
Subscribe
X
bool(true)