14:16 09 March 2013
Back in 2007, Opera, a Norwegian web-browser maker accused Microsoft of abusing its dominance to stifle competitors by bundling Internet Explorer with its operating system. To remedy the issue, Microsoft offered Windows buyers a choice of web browser such as Google’s Chrome, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox on 2009.
However, the problem resurfaced when Microsoft released Windows 7 Service pack 1 in February 2011 and it did not offer a choice of browser. During that time, Microsoft reported that it was still complying with the previous agreement.
Once EU was informed about the problem, it contacted Microsoft. The company then issued apology saying that its engineer had accidentally missed the issue.
“We take full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologised for it,” a Microsoft spokesman said.
“We provided the Commission with a complete and candid assessment of the situation, and we have taken steps to strengthen our software development and other processes to help avoid this mistake – or anything similar – in the future.”
However, competition commission Joaquin Almunia said that Microsoft’s failure to comply with the previous agreement was a serious breach.
He said: "I hope this will make companies think twice before they ever thinking of breaching their international obligations.”
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