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European Union May Order Microsoft to Bundle Other Browsers

50°
303w ago - The European Union's antitrust investigation team has released preliminary statements on how it will rule on the question of whether Microsoft abused its dominant market position to push the adoption of Internet Explorer; the remarks are not encouraging.

The investigation is not over–Microsoft still has time to issue its own formal response to further concerns the EU raised in January–but the company may need a Hail Mary pass to escape the penalty the EU is prepared to level.

Jonathan Todd, spokesperson for the EU Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes, gave the Web site [Register or Login to view links] a peek into what the commission is planning in the event that Microsoft cannot successfully answer the EU's questions.

"If the Commission's preliminary conclusions as outlined in the recent statement of objections were confirmed," Todd said, "the Commission would intend to impose remedies that enabled users and manufacturers to make an unbiased choice between Internet Explorer and competing third party web browsers." There's also a hefty fine attached to the remedy, but it's the browser issue we'll focus on.

"Unbiased," in this case, means "bundled." Under the proposed penalty,...
 
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