Report: EU Prepares to Surprise Microsoft With More Fines by End of March
March 1, 2013 1:00 PM
comment(s) - last by
EU looks to punish Microsoft for browser non-compliance, and make a bit of extra revenue in the process
To date the European Union's antitrust regulatory body, the European Commission (EC), has pummeled operating system maker Microsoft Corp. (
with €1.6B ($2.1B USD) in fines
for allegedly using abusive anticompetitive tactics in the European market. But the EU is far from done.
, highly placed sources in the EC say that Microsoft will
face more fines
before the end of the month. The commission's pending decision follows a so-called "
statement of objections
" filed last October. One source at the EC comments, "The Commission is planning to fine Microsoft before the Easter break."
The planned action could slip a week or two, though, due to procedural issues.
by the EU to provide a browser selection screen with Windows 7. It did, but the browser selection screen
mysteriously stopped working
Windows 7's first service pack
. Microsoft claims this was due to a "coding error".
Microsoft's Windows 7 Service Pack 1 "accidentally" turned off the browser ballot box.
[Image Source: Telegraph UK]
That little "whoops" and Microsoft's baffling decision to test the EU's resolve, declining to rush a fix may cost Microsoft dearly. Experts say Microsoft could potentially face a billion dollar fine or more.
Microsoft's board is unhappy with CEO Steve Ballmer for failing to address the issue. In an annual proxy statement filed last October it cited that as one reason for cutting the rambunctious chief's bonus (this was not the first time Mr. Ballmer
had his bonus cut for mistakes
The EC's decision to mandate a browser choice screen dates back to 2009 when Microsoft had more of a dominant position in the EU browser market. Today Microsoft is in third place with only about 24 percent of the market, behind Google Inc.'s (
) 35 percent and Mozilla's 29 percent. The browser selection screen
appeared to be a key driving factor
in Microsoft's slipping market share.
Some argue that Microsoft's trailing position makes the decision to continue browser selection screen enforcement unfair. Others argue that Microsoft's dominant market share with Windows would be too dangerous were it not for continued enforcement.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Release a new 'N' version of Windows
3/3/2013 2:00:29 PM
No. I wish people would stop saying this like it's a new idea. Years ago, MS actually suggested to the EC that they would release a version of Windows 7 without a browser to satisy their complaints. In other words
MS already tried this.
The EC basically told them that if they did this, they would rape MS hard. They essentially forced them into the browser ballot.
That's from the European Commission, and this is the EC statement issued after MS said they would release a browser-free version of Windows 7. The ballot was not MS' idea. The EC, in that document, put forth the browser ballot, with more than a hint of "Do this or we screw you harder than usual". Just search the document for ballot.
Keep in mind too that this whole mess only really affected retail copies of Windows 7. OEMs would continue to be free to preinstall IE or whatever they wanted. The EC doesn't bother proving damage or harm to consumers, and yet claims they're doing this for the little guy. Horse poop. They're doing it to line their pockets, and to help poor lil' Opera who whined about the whole thing. Chrome and Firefox did just fine before a ballot.
Ironically, now Opera is becoming YAWB (Yet Another Webkit Browser). So instead of continuing to champion genuine standards, they're contributing to making Webkit the de facto standard.
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
EU to Microsoft on Browser Compliance: Prepare to be Punished
October 24, 2012, 12:38 PM
EU Regulators Could Fine Microsoft for Failing to Comply with 2009 Browser Ruling
September 27, 2012, 8:54 AM
EU Chastises Microsoft's "Browser Ballot" Screen in Windows 7, More Fines Possible
July 17, 2012, 1:55 PM
Microsoft Releases Windows 7 Service Pack 1 to the Public
February 22, 2011, 4:02 PM
Kin Failure Costs Ballmer $670K
October 1, 2010, 9:03 AM
Quick Note: Amazon UK Offers £10 Back on Any Order £50 or Over
August 3, 2015, 12:05 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Instagram Bans "Curvy" From Hashtag Searches, Provokes "Plus Sized" Outrage
July 16, 2015, 1:20 PM
Mozilla Promise Punctual Windows 10 Firefox Release, Teases at iOS Arrival
July 7, 2015, 3:08 PM
Netflix Announces 7-to-1 Stock Split, Eyes Explosive Overseas Growth
June 23, 2015, 8:18 PM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft's Windows 10 Leaves Lumia 530 Behind w/ 8 GB Storage Requirement
August 25, 2015, 4:02 PM
Kentucky Man Faces up to 10 Years in Prison for Shooting Drone Trespasser
August 13, 2015, 2:58 PM
Future of Lumia Uncertain as Microsoft Lays Off 2,300, Closes 1 of 3 Finnish Offices
August 24, 2015, 6:14 PM
Aluminum 7003, Used in Roofing, May be Tapped by Apple for iPhone 6S/6S+
August 24, 2015, 4:45 PM
Best Buy Rapidly Ramps up Apple Watch Rollout After "Strong" Early Sales
August 26, 2015, 11:42 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information