“Frustrated with past efforts to change Microsoft Corp.’s behavior, European Union regulators are pursuing a new round of sanctions against the software giant that go well beyond fines,” Charles Forelle reports for The Wall Street Journal.
“The regulatory push is focused on a longstanding complaint against Microsoft: that it improperly bundles its Web browser with its Windows software. Rather than forcing Microsoft to strip its Internet Explorer from Windows, people close to the case say, the EU is now ready to try the opposite measure: Forcing a bunch of browsers into Windows, thus diluting Microsoft’s advantage,” Forelle reports.
“The EU has stacked up more than $2 billion in fines against Microsoft since 2004,” Forelle reports. “The EU’s bid in 2004 to separate Microsoft’s Media Player multimedia software from Windows is widely viewed as a timid solution that failed. Now, emboldened by a 2007 court ruling that upheld the 2004 case and confirmed the EU’s wide discretion, regulators are inclined to go further.”
“People close to the case say EU regulators are inclined to demand a so-called ballot screen that would present a new computer user with a choice of browsers to install, and the option to designate one of them as a default,” Forelle reports. “Regulators have also signaled that they may require Microsoft to ensure contractually that computer manufacturers keep the ballot screen on machines they ship.”
Full article here.