Monday, 13 August 2012

Microsoft under investigation for limiting consumers' options

Consumers own many of their consumers' privileges to the healthy competition between businesses. Knowing that, the European institutions try to protect competition in the internal market - also in the online world. In 2009, the European Union settled antitrust proceedings with Microsoft, in which the company was accused of not granting enough access to rival browsers in their Windows software. Namely, the fact that Windows operating system is combined with a pre-installed Internet Explorer browser could be seen as an unfair competition practice towards all other producers of browsers. As a result of the settlement, the European consumers who bought a computer with a Windows operating system (which is a default for most of us), should have been offered a browser choice when launching Windows - instead of just having the Internet Explorer chosen as a default. However, last month it was proven that Microsoft's side of the deal was not fulfilled for their Windows 7 operating system. As a result, European internet users were not offered the browsers' choice as of February 2011. Microsoft blames this on a technical problem and denies any intent of infringement. As an apology the company offers to extend the agreed compliance period (until 2014) for an additional 15 months. The European institutions may, however, decide on fining the company this time. (EU investigates Microsoft over browsers)

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