Microsoft Settles EU Antitrust Case By Pledging to Provide Alternative Web Browser Choices

December 16, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Microsoft Corp. is off the antitrust hook in Europe, after the company agreed to give Windows users a choice of up to 12 other Web browsers and easing competitors’ ability to work with its products. The European commission in January said Microsoft’s bundling of Internet Explorer in Windows was harming competition. Google, which makes the Chrome browser, and Mozilla, makers of Firefox, signed on as opponents in the case.

The European Commission in Brussels said in a statement today in Brussels, that Microsoft’s Windows operating system will include a screen that gives users a choice of rival browsers, including the ability to turn off Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The decision averted another hefty fine for Microsoft which has already paid out $2.44 billion in penalties by the EU for previous infringements of anti-competition rules. Under terms of the European settlement, Microsoft, which runs more than 90 percent of all computers in the world, will send ballot screens via automatic software updates by mid-March, to 100 million users of Windows XP, Vista and 7 operating systems in Europe who have set Internet Explorer as their main browser. Through March 2015, the screens will also be automatically sent to purchasers of new Windows-based computers.

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