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Microsoft in hot water with the EU over browser selection breach

Microsoft facing massive fine for infringing on EU agreement, could be 10% of earnings
By: Trace Hagan | Business, Financial & Legal News | Posted: Oct 24, 2012 7:33 pm

The European Union is heavy on protecting consumers, and sometimes it seems as though they may overstep what is necessary and prudent. In this case, that line probably hasn't been crossed, and I'm sure you'll agree with them that Microsoft should give users a choice of which browser to install.




Unfortunately for Microsoft, it would appear that they breached the European Union's order that they offer multiple browsers to select from. The EU has now charged Microsoft for breaching an agreement made three years prior. In that agreement, Microsoft had made the concession to allow users to pick a browser upon the install of Windows 7.


The EU charges that even now, three years later, users still are not presented with the choice of browser. This charge applies to Windows 7 copies sold after February 2011. Microsoft claims a bug caused the choice screen to not display, but that it is, in fact, in the software. The EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia warned Microsoft should expect a fine, if found breaking the agreement.


This fine could be as high as 10 percent of Microsoft's earnings. This would be on top of the estimated €1.7 billion already spent fighting the EU.


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