BRUSSELS Oct 24 EU antitrust regulators charged
Microsoft on Wednesday for breaching a 2009 order to
offer a choice of web browsers to consumers on its Windows 7
operating system, the first step to a possible hefty fine.
The world's No. 1 software company agreed with the European
Commission three years ago to offer browser choices, in a bid to
settle an antitrust investigation and avoid a penalty that could
have been as much as 10 percent of its global turnover.
But the executive EU Commission, which acts as antitrust
watchdog in the European Union, said in July this year that
Microsoft had not complied with the order from February last
year until then. The company blamed the lapse on a technical
"The European Commission has informed Microsoft of its
preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to comply with its
commitments to offer users a choice screen enabling them to
easily choose their preferred web browser," the Commission said
in a statement.
The Commission said it had sent a statement of objections or
charge sheet to Microsoft detailing the infringement.
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia will hold a news
conference around 1000 GMT to announce his decision.
Reuters had flagged the news earlier on Wednesday.