Commission imposes a fine of €561 million on Microsoft

Press conference by Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition. (EC Audiovisual Services, 6-3-2013).

Press conference by Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition. (EC Audiovisual Services, 6-3-2013).

Late in the afternoon of today 6 February, the Commission issued an announcement, signed by Joaquín Almunia, Vice President responsible for Competition Policy, saying that the Commission imposes on Microsoft a fine of €561 million. According to this Press release, the decision came as result of Microsoft’s failure to comply with the legally binding commitments which it made to the Commission.

Almunia notes that in December 2009 the Commission made legally binding on Microsoft the commitments then offered by the company. As of March 2010, Microsoft was therefore obliged to display until 2014 a “choice screen” enabling users of Windows in the EU to easily choose their preferred web browser.

The Commission announcement also notes that although Microsoft did make the choice screen available in March 2010, the choice screen was not rolled out as required following the launch of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 in May 2011. As a consequence, during more than a year, until July 2012, around 15.3 million users couldn’t see the choice screen as they should.

Consequently Almunia concludes, that “Microsoft has acknowledged that it did not comply with its own commitments”. The vice President of the Commission however doesn’t stop there. He points out that “Immediately after I received information about this fact, I ordered the reopening of proceedings, and in October last year a Statement of Objections was adopted to which Microsoft replied in December. Following an in-depth investigation and taking into account Microsoft´s reply to our objections, today’s decision finds that Microsoft has indeed breached its legally binding commitments”.

It is obvious that the Commission considers this as a very serious breach, irrespective of whether it was intentional or not, and it calls for a sanction. The Commission has therefore imposed a fine, as foreseen by the EU’s Antitrust Regulation. This is the first time that the Commission has found a breach of legally binding commitments enshrined in an article 9 Decision.

Almunia comments that in setting the level of the fine, “the Commission took into account the gravity and the duration of the infringement as well as the need to ensure that the sanction is sufficiently deterrent. At the same time, once the breach was discovered, Microsoft cooperated with the Commission and provided information which helped the Commission to investigate the matter efficiently. This was taken into account as a mitigating circumstance”.

 

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Syria’s groundbreaking constitutional talks: ‘a clear success of mediation’ says Guterres in Turkey

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

“911, What’s your emergency?”

Nearly a third of the globe is now on Facebook – chart of the day

Climate change is forcing 20 million people a year from their homes, Oxfam says

4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

Germany objects to EU Commission’s plan for a Eurozone bank deposits insurance scheme but Berlin could go along

Alcohol abuse kills three million people a year, most of them men – WHO report

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

This is why mental health should be a political priority

Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of EU4Health programme

Commission welcomes agreement on the modernisation of EU export controls

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

ECB again to subsidize euro area banks with more than one trillion euro

Thomas Cook bankruptcy: Better consumer and employee protection needed

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ingenu steps up efforts to build LPWA networks across the globe

Greener tourism: Greater collaboration needed to tackle rising emissions

How digital entrepreneurs will help shape the world after the COVID-19 pandemic

MEPs back plans to promote water reuse for agricultural irrigation

The ECB proposes a swift solution for SMEs’ financing

Working fewer hours makes you more efficient. Here’s the proof

COVID-19: A coordinated EU health strategy needed, say MEPs

‘BioSolar Leaves’ are better at cleaning the air than trees, say the technology’s developers

EU leaders agree to delay Brexit until 31 October

Yemen war ‘a test of our humanity’, and we’re ‘badly failing’ warns UN Children’s Fund chief

German Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

The refugee crisis seen through the eyes of a young doctor from Turkey

EU, Latin America and the Caribbean: Partnering for prosperity, democracy, resilience and global governance

Collective action to enable sustainable growth will be critical to end tropical deforestation

Adoption of new rules to better protect children caught in cross-border parental disputes

Arrest of three Libyans wanted for grave crimes ‘would send strong and necessary message’ to victims, urges top Prosecutor

State aid: Commission approves around €36 million Romanian rescue aid to state-owned flag carrier TAROM

COVID-19: from the chaos of the pandemic to the difficulties in vaccination

Ecofin: ‘The Friday battle’ for the banking union

Haiti cholera outbreak ‘stopped in its tracks’

The UK option: An overarching alternative for the whole Brexit options

Security Council gravely concerned by Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, demands immediate end to violence hampering response

Here’s how to achieve growth in the Middle East and North Africa

Civil society groups matter for Cambodia’s sustainable development: UN expert

European Institute of Innovation and Technology: Commission welcomes political agreement on strategy for 2021-2027

The von der Leyen Commission: for a Union that strives for more

Number of MEPs to be reduced after EU elections in 2019

The challenge of palliative care in universal health coverage

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

Facts, not fear, will stop COVID-19 – so how should we talk about it?

Concorde is a reminder that the only way for innovation is up

Parlamentarians to “break up” with reality in the Google antitrust case

Implementation of tax transparency initiative delivering concrete and impressive results

The world has made spectacular progress in every measure of well-being. So why does almost no one know about it?

EU guidance on the handling of visa applications from residents of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions

MEPs to prioritise environment and climate action in next long-term budget

GDP growth slows in most G20 economies in third quarter of 2019

This is why retail is such a sore point in India-US trade relations

Khashoggi murder trials must public and meet international standards, UN expert urges

UN chief seeking ‘renewed commitment’ to global rules and values, as world leaders head to New York

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

A reality check on inclusive innovation

Austerity lovers to put a break on Renzi’s growth vision for Europe? the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

This man is turning cities into giant sponges to save lives

4 key trends on how COVID has impacted women in business

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s