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

How women in developing countries can harness e-commerce

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

Banks get trillions and the unemployed ECB’s love…

UN chief condemns terror attack in Kismayo, Somalia

Paradise islands of Pacific increasingly vulnerable to climate change, as UN boosts resilience

Having a baby during COVID-19 gave me new respect for the job ‘mom’

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

UN agency helps stranded Ethiopians return home, ending ‘harrowing migration ordeal’

Data show EU Economy in a stubbornly subdued state

Stronger partnerships with post-conflict countries needed to ensure ‘path towards durable peace’: UN chief

COVID-19: latest on evaluation and authorisation of vaccines

Europe is no longer an innovation leader. Here’s how it can get ahead

COVID-19 vaccines: MEPs quiz top officials on authorisation and contracts

Gender equality in STEM is possible. These countries prove it

Flexible jobs can make work-life balance worse, a German study finds

UN condemns deadly attack one of its vehicles

MEPs approve EU’s spending in 2017

Is Germany yielding to pressures for more relaxed economic policies?

Modernising EU justice systems: New package to speed up digitalisation of justice systems and boost training of justice professionals

The European Sting @ Mobile World Congress 2014, Creating What’s Next for the World. Can EU Policy follow?

Spring 2020 Economic Forecast: A deep and uneven recession, an uncertain recovery

These are the world’s most future-proof cities

Yemen: 11 more ‘terrible, senseless’ civilian deaths reported, following attack in Sana’a – top UN official

Cyber-Risk Assessments: the vaccine for companies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit to differ when issued from 10 Downing St.

Some truths about the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization

Do not jeopardise future-oriented EU programmes, say EP’s budget negotiators

Asylum: MEPs call for more solidarity among EU member states

Business should be joyful – just ask the sports world

Kids who live in the countryside have better motor skills, a study in Finland has found

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

Jeroen Dijsselbloem new Eurogroup president

70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this is why we need dignity more than ever

GSMA announces first speakers for Mobile 360 Series-Middle East and North Africa

Business could learn plenty about cybersecurity from the secret state

A Sting Exclusive: “Stronger Cybersecurity for a safer EU against cybercrime and cyber threats”, by MEP Dalli

Economic recovery won’t tackle youth unemployment problem

These are the countries that have made their climate commitments law

Yellen and Draghi tell Trump and markets not to expedite the next crisis

More than 90 per cent of Africa migrants would make perilous Europe journey again, despite the risks

Central African Republic: UN chief hails signing of new peace agreement

What Keynes can teach us about government debt today

COVID-19 and its empathic social lessons

MEPs back first EU management plan for fish stocks in the Western Mediterranean

The costs of corruption: values, economic development under assault, trillions lost, says Guterres

Green economy ‘not to be feared, but an opportunity to be embraced’ says UN chief as COP25 gets underway

Vaccination: understanding the challenges surrounding COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

Commission approves emergency measures to protect eastern Baltic cod

Coronavirus: EU funding for the transport of medical goods, medical teams and patients

Importance of teaching ethics in Brazilian Medical Schools

New EU telecom rules: latest actions in time for transposition deadline

Why the fight against nature loss should be a business priority

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

Bosnia and Herzegovina: MEPs concerned by slow progress in EU-related reforms

CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

Global immunization is having its annual check-up. What can we learn?

Palliative care effectiveness at Universal Health Care: an eminent need

Women who crushed the gender barrier in medicine

Energy Union: EU invests a further €800 million in priority energy infrastructure

ITU Telecom World 2017 on 25-28 September in Busan, Republic of Korea

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