EU hints at large fines for Microsoft over browser ballot

Microsoft admitted in July that a number of Windows-based PCs did not display a required web browser download menu in Europe, in violation of a previous settlement with the European Union. This week, the EU's competition commissioner strongly hinted that the EU could have some large fines for Microsoft.

The AFP news service (via Phys.org) reports that the competition commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, stated:

The fault is there, it has been there for more than a year and it is clear that we need to react. It is not only the distortion of competition during this period which concerns us; it is very serious, from my point of view, that the remedies imposed on Microsoft have not been applied.

The story claims that the EU could impose fines against Microsoft that are up to 10 percent of its total annual turnover.

The settlement between the EU and Microsoft was first signed back in 2009 and was supposed to give European users of Windows a menu, such as the one above, that gives them a number of choices for browser downloads. However, Microsoft admitted in July that 28 million Windows 7 Service Pack 1 PCs did not display the required web browser menu for over a year.

Microsoft said that a software glitch was to blame and has since sent out an update to the affected Windows 7 PCs to restore the menu. It has also said it will continue to show the menu screen beyond the previously agreed to time period.

Source: Phys.org/AFP | Image via Microsoft

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