The European Commission in Brussels has opened antitrust investigation into American company Microsoft.
The EU Commission has opened antitrust proceedings against Microsoft aimed at establishing whether the company has complied with the 2009 commitments to provide users with a choice of a preferred web browser.
The European Commission believes that Microsoft may have failed provide the choice with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1, released in February 2011. Microsoft had indicated in its annual compliance report to the Commission for 2011 that it was in full compliance with its commitments, but the company has recently acknowledged that the choice screen was actually not displayed.
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Spanish politician and prominent member of the European Commission, Joaquin Almunia said : ‘ If the investigation confirms the distortion of competition, Microsoft has to reckon with the sanctions. ‘
He added also : ‘ Due to a technical error, we missed delivering the BCS software to PCs that came with the service pack 1 update to Windows 7. While we have taken immediate steps to remedy this problem, we deeply regret that this error occurred and we apologise for it. ‘
Microsoft submitted a report to the European Commission last year saying the browser choice screen was being provided as required. In its statement, the Microsoft company said it believed at the time that was the case.
Microsoft faces a fine up to ten percent of its global annual turnover should it be found flouting European antitrust laws. A figure that could total close to 5,7 billion euros.