The European Union Competition Commission is getting ready to officially charge Microsoft for antitrust breaches against a 2009 ruling relating to web browser choices in it’s Windows operating systems. Microsoft managed to avoid a fine of up to 10% of the company’s global turnover in 2009, by agreeing to provide users with a choice of web browsers. In June this year, Microsoft was fined a landmark 1 billion euros for failing to comply with this ruling in its Windows 7 operating system.
Now EU regulators want to charge Microsoft for failing to comply with the original 2009 ruling, which means that Microsoft could see a much bigger fine of up to 10% of its turnover. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said:
The next step is to open a formal proceeding into the company’s breach of an agreement. We are working on this. It should not be a long investigation because the company itself explicitly recognized its breach of the agreement.
Last year alone, Microsoft had a turnover of $74 billion, which would mean a fine of $7.4 billion could be possible at least. However, if regulators decide to take into account turnover since 2009, Microsoft could be looking at a fine of over $26 billion if found guilty.