Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Microsoft/Windows
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
EU Antitrust Fines Could Make Example Out of Microsoft
EU Antitrust Fines Could Make Example Out of Microsoft

By Jennifer LeClaire
March 5, 2013 10:51AM

    Bookmark and Share
"Microsoft neglected to include the so-called 'ballot' screen, offering a choice of browsers," said analyst Greg Sterling of the European Union's threat to fine Microsoft. "However, the imposition of the fine may be more about showing the commission is serious and 'sending a message' than specifically about getting Microsoft to comply."
 



Microsoft could be facing millions of dollars in fines for failing to comply with orders from European antitrust officials. Microsoft was supposed to give Windows users a choice among competing browsers but failed to do so. If the fine comes down Wednesday as expected, it would mark the first time in European Union history that it has punished a company for neglecting its orders.

Many thought Microsoft put its 10-plus years of antitrust issues in Europe to rest back in Dec. 2009 when the European Commission approved a final resolution of several longstanding competition issues, which included Web browser measures.

Under the resolution, Microsoft committed to allowing PC manufacturers and users to install any browser on top of Windows, to make any browser the default browser on new PCs, and to turn access to Internet Explorer on or off.

Microsoft also agreed to send a "browser choice" screen to Windows users who were running Internet Explorer as their default browser. This browser choice screen was supposed to present a list of browsers, making it easy for users to install any one of them.

Sending Microsoft a Message

Joaquin Almunia, the European Union's antitrust chief, accused Microsoft of failing to keep its word. Microsoft is so far mum on the potential new fines, but had apologized in July, saying a technical glitch was causing issues with the browser choice pledge. Microsoft apparently did not move quickly enough to resolve the issue. Three months later, Almunia charged Microsoft with not providing browser choice in Windows 8. Now, a fine is looming.

"It's important for the commission to show it's serious in this case because this will set a precedent, and because the commission increasingly uses settlements to help reach solutions more quickly, especially in the fast-moving technology sector," Nicolas Petit, a professor in competition law and economics at the University of Liege in Belgium, told The New York Times.

In other words, the European Union may decide to make an example out of Microsoft. It wouldn't be the first time the EU targeted a U.S. tech company with a large fine. Intel was slapped with a $1.4 billion fine, the largest European authorities ever approved, for allegedly abusing its power. Intel appealed the ruling, which is still in limbo.

IE Losing Dominance

Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, has been watching Microsoft antitrust cases for more than a decade.

"Microsoft neglected to include the so-called 'ballot' screen, offering a choice of browsers. However, the imposition of the fine may be more about showing the commission is serious and 'sending a message' than specifically about getting Microsoft to comply with its 2009 browser settlement," Sterling told us.

"In the period since 2009, IE has ceased to be the dominant browser on a global basis," he said. "Chrome recently overtook the Microsoft browser, so the concerns that drove the 2009 browser choice settlement have largely been overcome by market forces."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Microsoft/Windows
1.   Can One Size Windows OS Fit All?
2.   Microsoft CEO Sees 'Bold' Plan Ahead
3.   Design Central to Microsoft Future
4.   Lenovo Still in Small Windows Tablets
5.   How Chrome Eats Your Battery Life


advertisement
Microsoft CEO Sees 'Bold' Plan Ahead
With unified Windows for all platforms.
Average Rating:
Design Central to Microsoft Future
New ethos a break from functional past.
Average Rating:
Bing Lets Europeans Be 'Forgotten'
Following in Google's footsteps.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.