Microsoft Settles and has Agreed to Let Europeans Pick Web Browser
Press reports released today report that Europeans will be picking a Web browser after Microsoft agreed to offer “Internet users a choice to avoid fresh fines — a move that could represent a real thawing of long-standing tensions between the software company and the European Union”.
The deal just announced ends all current antitrust charges brought by European Union regulators. Beginning in March, Microsoft Corp. will provide a pop-up screen to all European users of its Windows operating system, asking them to choose one or more of five major browsers — including Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox, Google Inc.’s Chrome and Apple Inc.’s Safari — and seven smaller rivals.
In return, the European Commission will drop charges it filed against Microsoft in January, when it said tying Internet Explorer to Windows — already installed on most computers — gave the browser an unfair advantage. That was the latest in a long list of concerns — in more than a decade of EU antitrust action, Microsoft has been fined €1.7 billion.