EU to fine Microsoft over browser issue

March 5, 2013 at 4:49 PM
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BRUSSELS, March 5 (UPI) -- European antitrust officials will fine Microsoft for failing to give Windows users the choice of competing Internet browsers, The New York Times reported.

European Union antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia has charged Microsoft with failing to live up to the terms of a settlement over the browser-access issue reached in 2009 between Microsoft and EU antitrust officials.

If the European Union carries out its threat to levy the fine Wednesday it would be the first time it has punished a company for neglecting to comply with the terms of an antitrust settlement, the Times reported.

Antitrust officials had put Microsoft on notice it must offer users the choice to use rival browsers in European versions of its Windows operating system software.

Millions of European users of the Windows 7 SP1 version of the software may not have been offered a choice of browsers from February 2011 to July 2012, Almunia said.

Microsoft had previously said the failure to offer the choice of browsers was due to an inadvertent technical error of which it had only recently become aware.

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