Microsoft fined by European Commission
06 Mar, 2013
The European Commission has imposed a €561 million fine on Microsoft for failing to comply with its commitments to offer users a browser choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred web browser.
In 2009, the Commission had made these commitments legally binding on Microsoft until 2014. In this latest decision, the Commission found that Microsoft failed to roll out the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1 from May 2011 until July 2012. 15 million Windows users in the EU therefore did not see the choice screen during this period. Microsoft has acknowledged that the choice screen was not displayed during that time.
Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said: “In 2009, we closed our investigation about a suspected abuse of dominant position by Microsoft due to the tying of Internet Explorer to Windows by accepting commitments offered by the company. Legally binding commitments reached in antitrust decisions play a very important role in our enforcement policy because they allow for rapid solutions to competition problems. Of course, such decisions require strict compliance. A failure to comply is a very serious infringement that must be sanctioned accordingly.”