Wednesday, October 24th 2012

European Commission sends Statement of Objections to Microsoft on Browser Compliance

The European Commission has informed Microsoft of its preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to comply with its commitments to offer users a choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred web browser. In 2009, the Commission had made these commitments legally binding on Microsoft (see IP/09/1941). The sending of a statement of objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.

In its statement of objections, the Commission takes the preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to roll out the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1, which was released in February 2011. From February 2011 until July 2012, millions of Windows users in the EU may not have seen the choice screen. Microsoft has acknowledged that the choice screen was not displayed during that period.

In December 2009, the Commission had made legally binding on Microsoft commitments offered by the US software company to address competition concerns related to the tying of Microsoft's web browser, Internet Explorer, to its dominant client PC operating system Windows (see IP/09/1941, MEMO/09/558 and MEMO/09/559). Specifically, Microsoft committed to make available for five years (i.e. until 2014) in the European Economic Area a "choice screen" enabling users of Windows to choose in an informed and unbiased manner which web browser(s) they wanted to install in addition to, or instead of, Microsoft's web browser. The choice screen was provided as of March 2010 to European Windows users who have Internet Explorer set as their default web browser.

The Commission had opened proceedings to investigate the potential non-compliance with the browser choice commitments on 16 July 2012 (see IP/12/800).

Background on the commitments decision

In January 2009, the Commission sent Microsoft a Statement of Objections, outlining its preliminary view that the company abused its dominant position in the market for client PC operating systems through the tying of Internet Explorer to Windows (see MEMO/09/15). In order to address the Commission's concerns, Microsoft offered commitments, including the set-up of a "ballot screen" in the Windows PC operating system, from which consumers could easily choose their preferred internet browser (see MEMO/09/352). In October 2009, the Commission market tested an improved proposal from Microsoft (see MEMO/09/439).

In light of the reactions to the market test, the Commission concluded that the commitments would remedy its competition concerns and made the commitments legally binding on Microsoft in December 2009, pursuant to Article 9 of the Antitrust Regulation No 1/2003.

More information about the browser choice commitment is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consumers/web_browsers_choice_en.html

Procedural background

A statement of objections is a formal step in Commission investigations. The Commission informs the parties concerned in writing of the objections raised against them and the parties can reply in writing and request an oral hearing to present comments.

The Commission takes a final decision only after the parties have exercised their rights of defence.

If a company has breached commitments made legally binding by way of an Article 9 decision, it may be fined up to 10% of its total annual turnover.
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90 Comments on European Commission sends Statement of Objections to Microsoft on Browser Compliance

#1
[H]@RD5TUFF
LOLZ sorry but all the EU commision is , is a bunch of shake down artists looking for money to prop up failing economies.:wtf:
Posted on Reply
#2
Mr McC
by: [H]@RD5TUFF
LOLZ sorry but all the EU commision is , is a bunch of shake down artists looking for money to prop up failing economies.:wtf:
Are the economies failing as a result of their own actions or the actions of their politicians and bankers or because they form a part of a global economic system wherein certain parties are obliged to play the role of losers so that others prove successful?

Microsoft was obliged to make changes, chose to ignore this and will now be fined, seems simple enough to me.

In any event, I fail to see how Microsoft's fine will alleviate the situation in Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece or Italy, as America, Asia and several of their European partners (what we normally ambiguously refer to as "market forces") appear intent on ensuring that they do not overcome their present economic problems: in the free market, the misery of others is big business.
Posted on Reply
#3
HTC
by: [H]@RD5TUFF
LOLZ sorry but all the EU commision is , is a bunch of shake down artists looking for money to prop up failing economies.:wtf:
Do you have automatic updates enabled?

If so, then regardless of what web browser you use, you'll have IE (latest version) installed by the OS. I know for a fact that this happens when using Firefox.

Sure: they're not forcing you to use it but they're making it available for use in a shady way, IMO.


Ask yourself this: if you didn't install IE and chose another web browser upon installation, why is it in the Windows Updates?
Posted on Reply
#4
[H]@RD5TUFF
by: HTC
Do you have automatic updates enabled?

If so, then regardless of what web browser you use, you'll have IE (latest version) installed by the OS. I know for a fact that this happens when using Firefox.

Sure: they're not forcing you to use it but they're making it available for use in a shady way, IMO.


Ask yourself this: if you didn't install IE and chose another web browser upon installation, why is it in the Windows Updates?
I still have to use IE regardless because of school and work, where IE is the only supported browser, and browsers like firefox, just don't work.

Also yes I do have automatic updates enabled, but IE is an optional update, not automatic. And I there is nothing shady about a company bundling it's own software with it's own OS.
Posted on Reply
#5
agent00skid
It came bundled with my 7's. Uninstalled it, and haven't seen it since. (Except for the emergency update for it. :p)
Posted on Reply
#6
HTC
by: [H]@RD5TUFF
I still have to use IE regardless because of school and work, where IE is the only supported browser, and browsers like firefox, just don't work.

Also yes I do have automatic updates enabled, but IE is an optional update, not automatic. And I there is nothing shady about a company bundling it's own software with it's own OS.
It's not an optional update: if it were, it wouldn't have been installed on my system because i didn't select any optional updates while the updating was in automatic.

Other browsers don't work in school and work? More like they're not allowed to be installed by whoever runs it, no?
Posted on Reply
#7
[H]@RD5TUFF
by: HTC
It's not an optional update: if it were, it wouldn't have been installed on my system because i didn't select any optional updates while the updating was in automatic.

Other browsers don't work in school and work? More like they're not allowed to be installed by whoever runs it, no?
No the websites simply don't support anything else other than IE, as such the scripts cause other browsers to hang and crash.

Your opinions are awfully full of assumptions.
Posted on Reply
#8
Benetanegia
by: [H]@RD5TUFF
And I there is nothing shady about a company bundling it's own software with it's own OS.
Yes, there is. It's a monopolistic tactic to preserve and expand their monopoly and that is not tolerated in the EU.

It's simple. The EU Commission told them to do something simple: offer a choice. And Microsoft failed to do it. Now they are going to suffer the consequences because they were stupid.
Posted on Reply
#9
HTC
by: [H]@RD5TUFF
No the websites simply don't support anything else other than IE, as such the scripts cause other browsers to hang and crash.

Your opinions are awfully full of assumptions.
Really? I stand corrected.

EDIT

You assumed i made an assumption when in fact i posed a question.
Posted on Reply
#10
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: Benetanegia
Yes, there is. It's a monopolistic tactic to preserve and expand their monopoly and that is not tolerated in the EU.

It's simple. The EU Commission told them to do something simple: offer a choice. And Microsoft failed to do it. Now they are going to suffer the consequences because they were stupid.
Apparently the EU thinks it population is stupid and can't figure out how to download the many alternatives. Oh and by the way MS isn't a monopoly. Never was. EU commission is just retarded.
Posted on Reply
#11
Chevalr1c
And a lot of people may be stupid as well. Ask an avarage person what web browser (s)he has, and likely that person doesn't know what to answer ("How can I see what I have got?" seems to be a common reaction).
Posted on Reply
#12
tacosRcool
by: Benetanegia
Yes, there is. It's a monopolistic tactic to preserve and expand their monopoly and that is not tolerated in the EU.

It's simple. The EU Commission told them to do something simple: offer a choice. And Microsoft failed to do it. Now they are going to suffer the consequences because they were stupid.
What about other OS's that have built in internet browsers? How come they don't get uber fined?
Posted on Reply
#13
Prima.Vera
Some (a lot) of websites don't work except IE. Biggest example are the online streaming sites that are using SopCast or Java. Also the one that use ActiveX crap, and so on.
Posted on Reply
#14
Easo
Bullshit continues...
Posted on Reply
#15
remixedcat
by: TheMailMan78
Apparently the EU thinks it population is stupid and can't figure out how to download the many alternatives. Oh and by the way MS isn't a monopoly. Never was. EU commission is just retarded.
This and they fine MS more then they fine chemical companies for polluting and crap... EU Fail.
Posted on Reply
#16
Jizzler
by: Cristian_25H
If a company has breached commitments made legally binding by way of an Article 9 decision, it may be fined up to 10% of its total annual turnover.
I wonder what conclusion the Commission is going to reach? :slap:
Posted on Reply
#17
Static~Charge
by: [H]@RD5TUFF
Also yes I do have automatic updates enabled, but IE is an optional update, not automatic.
Windows Update lists IE in the "Important" category. If you download it and then select "Cancel" during the installation, Windows Update moves it to the "Optional" category.
Posted on Reply
#18
Covert_Death
I don't think websites ONLY working on IE is an excuse for M$ forcing everyone to have IE... that argument is just stupid

but I feel that it's M$ OS, so they can decide what is bundled with it as long as it doesn't PROHIBIT me or make it harder to use an alternative browser, and it simply doesn't do that. i install chrome from day one and yes i know that IE is still lurking around on my hard drive somewhere but i get over it, because it NEVER pops up and says " USE ME!" it is NOT my default browser, (which was NOT hard to change, in fact the alternative was offered to me when i installed chrome) and that is that.

its like suing a chocolate chip company company that makes cookies because they ONLY sell cookies with Hersheys chocolate chips and DONT offer various brands of chocolate in their cookies..... this is just stupid, and unethical and the EU needs to stop farming cash from companies that do things to PRODUCE an income, M$ is not apart of the government and therefore the government should have NO say in what they do unless M$ is literally stealing and participating in clearly illegal actions, and the EU trying to say that this is illegal is just unethical on their part, they know EXACTLY what they are REALLY trying to do
Posted on Reply
#19
WhiteLotus
On one hand the EU can go take a long hard look at itself for trying to do this.

On the other hand Microsoft needs to abide by the laws and regulations that they are operating in.
Posted on Reply
#20
erocker
Other popular operating systems should just start including whatever browsers they want... Oh wait...
Posted on Reply
#21
theoneandonlymrk
I find it odd that on one hand ,microsoft do this, ie force explorer on the world ,and at the same time are building a walled garden wherein they have removed some usefull Os functions so they can sell them back to me as a crapper app(win8), whats that about.

and what does it matter i have three browsers installed on every pc i use and they all get used,, why ,, due to all three not showing some pages right or not working as well as the others in some areas.
Posted on Reply
#22
Benetanegia
by: TheMailMan78
Apparently the EU thinks it population is stupid and can't figure out how to download the many alternatives.
What you fail to understand is that they don't HAVE to.
Oh and by the way MS isn't a monopoly. Never was. EU commission is just retarded.
It IS a monopoly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly
In economics, a monopoly is a single seller. In law, a monopoly is a business entity that has significant market power, that is, the power, to charge high prices.
http://www.investorwords.com/3112/monopoly.html
A situation in which a single company owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service. This would happen in the case that there is a barrier to entry into the industry that allows the single company to operate without competition.
Laws are created to protect/help citizens and that's what this "law" does. The command was very easy and carried no cost to M$. But M$ failed to abide it and for a good reason. Only that the EU is not the US. It's not their playground where they can do whatever they want. They broke the rule, a very very easy to abide rule, and now they are going to be fined. It's really simple.

I know every US citizen is an economist at heart and has been raised in a brainwashing environment that leads them to believe that freedom means that anyone (most notably companies, since it's mostly an economic POV) can do whatever they want even above and beyond laws, but there's more than economics you know. It's also very easy (and popular I see) to attack the foreign government in order to defend your home companies, but it's not a surprise coming from a country that is 100% controled by oligarquies and that goes (creates) wars for the sole purpose of supporting/mantaining those oligarquies. Soldiers die while the citicens, mere slaves, clap and celebrate the freedom of their masters.

M$ is a monopoly because it holds 95% of the desktop market share, because it takes advantage of that in ways prohibited by anti-monopoly laws and because it actively uses tactics to mantain that empowering position. It also holds the 100% of the gaming market, because it's the only desktop OS where you can play >95% of games.

by: tacosRcool
What about other OS's that have built in internet browsers? How come they don't get uber fined?
There's no other OS's. Just Apple and it's market share is less than 5%, which means that bundling in its case is not a monopolistic behavior. IF (when? nah) Apple gains enough marketshare to become a threatening power with control over the market, the EU will do what it takes. Now they can't because Apple is not a monopoly in this context. Plus we don't know if they're taking action or not regarding any of Apple's doings. This is something from years and years ago. These things take time.
Posted on Reply
#23
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: Benetanegia
What you fail to understand is that they don't HAVE to.



It IS a monopoly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly


http://www.investorwords.com/3112/monopoly.html


Laws are created to protect/help citizens and that's what this "law" does. The command was very easy and carried no cost to M$. But M$ failed to abide it and for a good reason. Only that the EU is not the US. It's not their playground where they can do whatever they want. They broke the rule, a very very easy to abide rule, and now they are going to be fined. It's really simple.

I know every US citizen is an economist at heart and has been raised in a brainwashing environment that leads them to believe that freedom means that anyone (most notably companies, since it's mostly an economic POV) can do whatever they want even above and beyond laws, but there's more than economics you know. It's also very easy (and popular I see) to attack the foreign government in order to defend your home companies, but it's not a surprise coming from a country that is 100% controled by oligarquies and that goes (creates) wars for the sole purpose of supporting/mantaining those oligarquies. Soldiers die while the citicens, mere slaves, clap and celebrate the freedom of their masters.

M$ is a monopoly because it holds 95% of the desktop market share, because it takes advantage of that in ways prohibited by anti-monopoly laws and because it actively uses tactics to mantain that empowering position. It also holds the 100% of the gaming market, because it's the only desktop OS where you can play >95% of games.



There's no other OS's. Just Apple and it's market share is less than 5%, which means that bundling in its case is not a monopolistic behavior. IF (when? nah) Apple gains enough marketshare to become a threatening power with control over the market, the EU will do what it takes. Now they can't because Apple is not a monopoly in this context. Plus we don't know if they're taking action or not regarding any of Apple's doings. This is something from years and years ago. These things take time.
You apparently don't know what a monopoly is. A monopoly is someone who CONTROLS a market with no viable alternatives. They are NOT A SINGLE SELLER. Look up Standard Oil for an example as they were the main reason anti-trust laws were put into place. There were no alternatives to them. Just because someone holds 90% of a market doesn't mean it controls it. There are MANY alternatives to Windows that can be used beyond effectively as an alternative. There would have to be NO alternatives to MS for it to be a monopoly.

As for me "protecting" MS I could care less. I don't own them. However I see you super defensive when someone calls BS on that paper union called the "EU". :laugh: Why doesn't the EU sue Apple? They do not provide an alternative browser? Coke? McDonald's? Both of those could be thought of as "monopolies" in your misguided view.

On a side note I love the bigotry you show when you lump "All Americans" together. Nice that you have such an open mind. That's progress. :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#24
Benetanegia
by: TheMailMan78
You apparently don't know what a monopoly is. A monopoly is someone who CONTROLS a market with no viable alternatives. They are NOT A SINGLE SELLER. Look up Standard Oil for an example as they were the main reason anti-trust laws were put into place. Just because someone holds 90% of a market doesn't mean it controls it. There are MANY alternatives to Windows that can be used beyond effectively as an alternative. There would have to be NO alternatives to MS for it to be a monopoly.
Sorry you fail to understand what a monopoly is. Alternatives or not, M$ controls the market and uses tactics to mantain it. As an example, the one they are being slammed for now. THAT defines a monopoly, the control of the market, not whether there are poor and powerless alternatives or not.
As for me "protecting" MS I could care less. I don't own them. However I see you super defensive when someone calls BS on that paper union called the "EU". :laugh: Why doesn't the EU sue Apple? They do not provide an alternative browser? Coke? McDonald's? Both of those could be thought of as "monopolies" in your misguided view.
Coke and McDonalds are not monopolies at all. It may surprise you (once again the "american" ego), but those are far from having a dominant position here in the EU, we know better. ;)

As for Apple, already said it. They are not a dominant power in the OS scene, hence they are not a monopoly, hence anti-monopoly laws don't apply.

So you don't care about you protecting a US company. You don't see a problem simply in the fact that you feel you have to protect it, but you find it weird/funny that someone sides with one of the things that his government does? Because I'm far from supporting the EU concept as a whole. See? That's the problem, one I encounter everyday and one which seems to affect ALL and EVERY US person I talk to. It's the problem, but don't worry, you are not able to see the problem. It does not stop it from being sad.
On a side note I love the bigotry you show when you lump "All Americans" together. Nice that you have such an open mind. That's progress. :rolleyes:
Nothing to do with progress or open mind. US voters have proven it over and over. It's a mayority, no matter if it's not absolute. Posts like yours prove it over and over again too. Have a little common sense (==put people above companies) and prove me wrong
Posted on Reply
#25
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: Benetanegia
Sorry you fail to understand what a monopoly is. Alternatives or not, M$ controls the market and uses tactics to mantain it. As an example, the one they are being slammed for now. THAT defines a monopoly, the control of the market, not whether there are poor and powerless alternatives or not.



Coke and McDonalds are not monopolies at all. It may surprise you (once again the "american" ego), but those are far from having a dominant position here in the EU, we know better. ;)

As for Apple, already said it. They are not a dominant power in the OS scene, hence they are not a monopoly, hence anti-monopoly laws don't apply.

So you don't care about you protecting a US company. You don't see a problem simply in the fact that you feel you have to protect it, but you find it weird/funny that someone sides with one of the things that his government does? Because I'm far from supporting the EU concept as a whole. See? That's the problem, one I encounter everyday and one which seems to affect ALL and EVERY US person I talk to. It's the problem, but don't worry, you are not able to see the problem. It does not stop it from being sad.



Nothing to do with progress or open mind. US voters have proven it over and over. It's a mayority, no matter if it's not absolute. Posts like yours prove it over and over again too. Have a little common sense (==put people above companies) and prove me wrong
If MS stopped you from installing an alternative browser THEN you could say its using monopoly tactics. But it doesn't. You can install whatever you want. It just holds the largest market share. Boo Hoo. Get over it. MS is being held ransom by a corrupted EU bleeding people dry to stay in power.

As for your view on "American People" I'm glad to see you lump us all together. Its like me saying all of Spain is lazy because I see them rioting in the streets because the government cut off "free" stuff........but alas I know better then that. You should try some reading a lil history before you lump any culture into any stereotype. You have no clue about Americans if you believe what you just typed. I thank G-d other Europeans I know are not as close minded as you.
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