The European Union is about to decide whether Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) broke any of the provisions of its 2009 antitrust settlement. If so, there could be years of court challenges, much as their were prior to 2009. According to Dow Jones:
The European Commission is considering whether to declare U.S. software maker Microsoft Corp. in breach of a 2009 ruling ordering the company to offer users a choice of Internet browsers, the European Union’s antitrust chief said Thursday.
“Microsoft has not kept its promises. We will have to consider taking the next step in this case,” Joaquin Almunia said. “The next step is to open a procedure to determine a breach to our settlement. Since Microsoft has admitted it, I hope it will not take long.”
The EU reached a settlement with Microsoft in 2009 after more than a decade of investigations that included 1.64 billion euros ($2.14 billion) in fines. Microsoft said in July it hadn’t included a browser-choice screen due to a technical error and that it was taking steps to fix the problem.
Douglas A. McIntyre