The executive branch of the European Union has formally issued notice to Microsoft that is has violated the terms of agreement the two parties had reached back in 2009 after Microsoft was accused of anti-trust violations in the EU.
The anti-trust allegations relate specifically to Microsoft’s bundling of its web-browsing platform, Internet Explorer, being bundled with Microsoft operating systems – which are utilized on the vast majority of PC’s in Europe. Through negotiations, it was agreed that Microsoft would provide a “browser choice screen” that allowed the user to pick from a number of popular web browsers, including Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera – or Internet Explorer.
Though Microsoft appeared to comply with this requirement, the EU has alleged that the choice screen was not properly functioning, and failed to appear for many users over the last three years. Microsoft has apologized and taken responsibility, but cites the problem as a technical error. The EU will determine what an appropriate fine in this situation would be.
Microsoft has already been fined over $2.1 billion USD by the European Union for various offences, and the maximum penalty for Microsoft in this case is 10% of Microsoft’s annual revenue – a potentially huge sum of money.
More more information, please see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20066770