The European Commission said Thursday it is close to a decision in its
investigation of US giant Microsoft and its failure to provide clients
with a choice of Web browser, as it had promised to do.
"We are close
to our decision. It could be one of the first anti-trust decisions in
2013," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said.
recognises that they were not implementing properly the binding
commitments" it made in 2011-12 when it introduced its Windows 7 system,
Microsoft apologised for what it said was a
"technical error" on Windows 7 as the EU launched a probe in July into
why 28 million users were unable to choose between the company's default
Internet Explorer and other browsers.
The Commission charges the
company with failing to offer a browser choice on Windows 7 between
February 2011 and July 2012, when the company has said it remedied the
Under EU law, a company found to have breached
commitments made to resolve competition cases can face a fine of up to
10 percent of annual sales.
The EU fined Microsoft 899 million
euros in 2008, subsequently reduced to 860 million euros, for failing to
comply with an order to share product information with rivals so that
their software could work with Windows.