EU Regulators Take Aim at Microsoft Web Browser

     (CN) – Microsoft faces another investigation with the European Commission saying Tuesday that the tech giant has not improved browser-preference selection for users.
     In 2009, the commission said that Microsoft abused its dominant market position by tying the company’s Internet Explorer browser to the Windows operating system. Rather than proceeding further with antitrust charges, however, regulators sought legally binding commitments from Microsoft to offer a “choice screen” from which users could easily select their desired browser through 2014.
     Microsoft rolled out the choice screen to EU users in March 2010, but the commission says Microsoft failed to include the screen in its Windows 7 Service Pack 1, which the company released in February 2011.
     This came in spite of a promise from Microsoft in a December 2011 compliance report that it was adhering to its commitments.
     Millions of Windows users in the EU have not have seen the choice screen since the Windows 7 rollout, and Microsoft has admitted its error, the commission said in a statement.
     “We take compliance with our decisions very seriously,” European Commission Vice President Joaquin Almunia said in a statement. “And I trusted the company’s reports were accurate. But it seems that was not the case, so we have immediately taken action.”
     If following our investigation the infringement is confirmed, Microsoft should expect sanctions,” added Almunia, who oversees competition policy.
     Sanctions could tally as high as 10 percent of Microsoft’s total annual profit.
     Microsoft has already paid the EU more than $2 billion in fines for various antitrust infractions since 2004, the commission said.

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