Will Europe Punish Microsoft Sufficiently?
By Mark Knapp | March 6, 2013 8:09 AM EST
The time is near for Microsoft ( that Microsoft was manipulating the market by tying its own browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system.
The Commission regulators agreed and forced to offer options for users to install various browsers when they set up their computers. For the most part, Microsoft followed the agreement.
But Service Pack 1, one of the company’s latest systems at the time, apparently didn’t prompt users to select a browser, thus forcing Internet Explorer on them and breaking the agreement with the European Commission.
Microsoft claimed the lack of the selection prompt was a “technical error” and due to oversight by an engineering team, but the Commission went ahead with an investigation and filed formal charges against the company in October of last year.
could face a fine of $9 billion if the Commission employs the maximum penalty of 10 percent of revenue for the time it was breaching the agreement. However, Robert Lande, professor of law at the University of Baltimore and the director of the American Antitrust Institute, said he didn’t believe the Commission would enact the maximum penalty.
Lande spoke critically of Joaquin Almunia, the top official, saying he was too lenient. Microsoft paid $5 billion in a U.S. settlement in 2001, and Lande said he believed that didn’t change Microsoft’s behavior. Lande said Almunia would likely move for a settlement with the company, which would bring the fine down significantly.
Such a move may trivialize the European Commission, leaving Microsoft and other companies to pay little heed to the law in the future. The announcement of the fine is expected Wednesday and could have a significant impact on the future of corporate cooperation with the European Commission.
Copyright Wall St. Cheat Street. All rights reserved.
Most Popular Slideshows
- In Photos, Typhoon Rammasun Blasts the Philippines
- Typhoon Rammasun Claims 18 Lives in China, Incurs $4.32B Losses (PHOTOS)
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Join the Conversation
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Rollout: 20 Nokia Lumia Phones Eligible and 13 New Features to be Added
- Moto 360 Price Speculations, Key Features, Strategic Release Date, Design: A Watch That is More Than Just Time
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Apps Leak Online, Five Fresh Features to Expect from the Android Smartphone
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Soon Along with 2 More HTC Android Tablets – Reports
- Three New Moto G Successors Spotted in FCC Document Dubbed Moto G2, Moto M and More --Reports
- iPad Air 2 Release Date Will Skip IGZO Panel; To Rollout with Super-Slim iPad Mini Air
- Upcoming iPad Mini 3 Could be 30% Thinner and Likely be Called iPad Mini Air; Apple Q3 Results Show 9% Decrease in iPad Sales