EU may force other browsers into Windows

May 30, 2009 at 10:00 AM
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BRUSSELS, May 30 (UPI) -- European Union regulators are negotiating with Microsoft Corp. to force it to include Internet browser choices in its Windows operating system, sources say.

The long-running battle between EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes and the U.S. software giant has reached a new stage as efforts to make Microsoft "unbundle" its Internet Explorer Web browser from Windows have been superceded by a push to instead make it include an array of browser choices to be picked by the user on a "ballot screen," Saturday's Wall Street Journal reported unnamed sources saying.

The inclusion of additional browsers is seen as a way of diluting Microsoft's advantage in the field. The newspaper said the EU has yet to make a final ruling on the issue, part of a series of conflicts between Kroes and Microsoft that have ended in more than $2 billion in antitrust fines.

A spokesman for Microsoft told the Journal it is committed to "full compliance" with EU law.

"To be effective, a remedy must present users with a real choice in browsers, and make it easy for them to execute that choice," Julia Holtz, senior competition counsel in Europe for Google Inc., told the newspaper.

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