Microsoft Gets Spanked By EU Over Internet Explorer Row

Microsoft Corp. has been accused by European Union for adversely affecting market competition by incorporating its Internet Explorer web browser with its flagship Windows operating systems only.

In its fresh set of allegations, the commission claimed that the software behemoth had breached EU competition rules and undermined consumer choice.

Microsoft and EU have long been engaged into legal battle over competition issues since years, and the commission had already posed fine of worth £680.9million last year.

The commission on Friday said in its charges, “Microsoft’s tying of Internet Explorer to the Windows operating system harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice”.

However, US government’s milestone 2002 antitrust arrangement doesn’t make the inclusion of Internet Explorer as a default web browser in Windows OS legal under European rules.

According to that ruling, Microsoft agreed to remove IE from Windows, thereby allowed users to un-install IE as their preferred browser.

In its response to the allegations, Microsoft said that it was evaluating commission’s preliminary view over the matter and didn’t deny chances of urging formal hearing over it.

The company has been granted eight weeks to reply to the charges posed by the EU.

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Our Comments

The whole Microsoft/EU saga reminds us of another episode that left a lasting impact on the way Microsoft does business. Back in 1999. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson delivered a scathing attack on the software giant, accusing it of being a company that enjoys too much power in the market. That was a decade ago. In 2009, Microsoft's power in the world of computing has slightly decreased thanks to Open Source and Google

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